This is one of those scientific findings that cause me to say, "Well, yeah, of course!": analytical thinking leads people away from religious believing.
TIME magazine has a good summary of the not-unexpected research conclusions.
We all fly both ways, on the complementary wings of intuition and analysis. These basically correspond to "fast thinking" and "slow thinking," the brain's System 1 and System 2 in the parlance of Daniel Kahneman (see my blog post, Don't mistake God for your intuitive brain speaking.
Sometimes it makes sense to intuit; other times, to analyze. As the TIME article says, both brain capabilities are valuable. We just need to know when each should be utilized. Our intuition may say, "God is real." However, then we should ask "How do I know this is true?"
Most of the world’s population believes in God, or gods, but alongside them there are also hundreds of millions of nonbelievers. What makes one a believer or not?
Religious faith is likely a complex phenomenon, shaped by multiple aspects of psychology and culture, say the authors of a new study. But the researchers, Ara Norenzayan and Will Gervais of the University of British Columbia in Canada, showed in a series of clever studies that at least one factor consistently appears to decrease the strength of people’s religious belief: analytic thinking.
...There are surely many factors at play here, but the researchers say their results suggest that one’s style of thought may be a crucial contributor to religious belief. Intuitive thinkers are more likely to be religious; analytical types, less so. “One explanation for belief is that it is based on a number of intuitions we have about the world around us. People don’t necessarily come to belief because they reason into it. Intuition helps us,” says Norenzayan.
For instance, the commonly held belief that the mind and soul are distinct from the body stems from intuition. “It is not based in logic or reason. That’s not why people find this compelling,” says Norenzayan.
That’s not to say that one way of thinking is more valuable than the other, only that the friction between intuitive and analytical thinking may help explain the origins of religious belief — or disbelief. “We know that in human psychology there are two systems of thinking. System one is intuitive; it is rapid and effortless. System two is analytical, and is more reasoned and thoughtful. Our study supports the idea that analytic thinking can push people away from intuitive thinking,” says Norenzayan.