61 Confirmation Bias in Religious Ideology

Kristina Mehegan

Ideology and the uncanny work hand in hand because ideology is an illusion created by the individual as a way of seeing the world. When reality seeps through the illusion, we experience the uncanny since what was familiar is now strange. Conversely, ideology is our solution for soothing the dread the uncanny causes since it is the mystical constructions of norms through which we can understand the world. In a manner that is both heimlich and unheimlich, ideology works both to provoke and resolve the uncanny.

This too connects to the idea of performativity, where deviating from the prescribed performance of norms in the categories of gender, race, and sexual orientation, all of which are imaginary ideologies, sparks a feeling of the uncanny. These three terms are inextricably linked, since they all refer to expectations and associations and how one is “supposed” to behave, any alteration of which necessarily incites discomfort and dread.

The norms we accept in our ideology are bolstered by the environment in which we exist. Being a Christian myself, I will be the first to admit that those who are raised religious and grew up surrounded by fellow church attendees and those of the exact same religious mindset tend to exist behind the veil of a particular ideology. In some circles, the religious ideology suggests that those who are not Christian are worse off than those who are. According to some, they might get sick more often or get in with the wrong crowd, resulting in a life of drugs and crime due to their avoidance of the church. Those who are inside the church observe those outside, and a kind of confirmation bias is created in every case where one who is not religious is observed to not be doing well. This is, of course, nothing more than coincidence at best, but it is an illusion that the ideology reassures and creates; for those who are religious to remain so, in this particular ideology, they must believe that those who are not have worse lives.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by Kristina Mehegan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book