Dr Nicholas Gibson is Assistant Director of the Psychology and Religion Research Group, Divinity Faculty, Cambridge University. His Ph.D. research, supervised by Fraser Watts, involved the development of new experimental paradigms for the investigation of religious cognition. Since October 2007 he has also held the Templeton Research Fellowship in Science and Religion at Queens’ College, Cambridge. Dr Gibson has been involved in a variety of teaching of experimental psychology and practical theology for colleges within the University and the Cambridge Theological Federation. He has held several roles on the Steering Group of the British Association of Christians in Psychology (BACIP), including Conference Chair and Development Officer.
His research interests mainly focus on how religious believers and non-believers represent God in mind. He works broadly within an information-processing framework and draw on both the social cognition and cognition and emotion literatures as they can be applied within the psychology of religion. So far he’s been looking at memory and reaction time biases associated with processing God-referent information in atheists and Christians of various flavours. Experimental paradigms involving these biases seem to provide a good alternative to the pencil-and-paper surveys so beloved of most psychologists of religion. My ongoing work, supported by Claire White, seeks to better understand how and when people use representations of God’s supernatural powers and human-like characteristics.