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Jesse L. Preston, PhD (Associate Professor)

Jesse Preston



Psychology of Belief, Science and Religion, Climate Change Attitudes

Research description:

I study the psychology of belief, and what makes those beliefs meaningful. My research has explored concepts of mind and agency, God, political attitudes, and climate change attitudes. Broad themes in my research explore the relationship between ideologies, such as inter-religious conflict, and conflict between religion and science.

Representative Publications:

  • Preston, J. L., & Shin, F. (2022). Opposing effects of spirituality and religious fundamentalism on environmental attitudes. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

  • Preston, J. L., & Shin, F. (2021). Anthropocentric biases in teleological thinking: How nature seems designed for humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 150(5), 943–955.

  • Rutjens, B. T., & Preston, J. L. (2020). Science and religion: a rocky relationship shaped by shared psychological functions. Chapter in C. Routledge & K. Vail (Eds.) The science of religion, spirituality, and existentialism, (pp 373-385). Elsevier Academic Press. 

  • Preston, J. L., Ritter, R. S., & Hepler, J. (2013). Neuroscience and the soul: Competing explanations for the human experience. Cognition, 127, 31-37. 

  • Ritter, R. S. & Preston, J. L. (2011). Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1225-1230.

  • Preston, J. & Epley, N. (2009). Science and God: An automatic opposition between ultimate explanations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 238-241.

  • Morewedge, C. K., Preston, J. & Wegner, D. M. (2007). Timescale bias in the attribution of mind. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93, 1-11.

Download open access versions of publications

Full list of publications (Google Scholar)