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Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction, Study Finds

Posted by on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM
  • 21 Replies

 Posted: Updated: 


CHILD AND BIBLEYoung children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.

Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.

The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

By relating seemingly impossible religious events achieved through divine intervention (e.g., Jesus transforming water into wine) to fictional narratives, religious children would more heavily rely on religion to justify their false categorizations.

“In both studies, [children exposed to religion] were less likely to judge the characters in the fantastical stories as pretend, and in line with this equivocation, they made more appeals to reality and fewer appeals to impossibility than did secular children,” the study concluded.

Refuting previous hypotheses claiming that children are “born believers,” the authors suggest that “religious teaching, especially exposure to miracle stories, leads children to a more generic receptivity toward the impossible, that is, a more wide-ranging acceptance that the impossible can happen in defiance of ordinary causal relations.”

According to 2013-2014 Gallup data, roughly 83 percent of Americans report a religious affiliation, and an even larger group -- 86 percent -- believe in God.

More than a quarter of Americans, 28 percent, also believe the Bible is the actual word of God and should be taken literally, while another 47 percent say the Bible is the inspired word of God.

by on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:27 PM
2 moms liked this

My children never had an any more of an issue than a child who believes in the tooth fairy, santa claus or the Easter bunny

If any of that were even slightly true, we'd be a nation full of drooling idiots because most people believe. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM
2 moms liked this

Hmmmm, that seems like a rather young age, regardless.

I will say this.....from my own experience as being raised 'Catholic' in a time when you did not dare question or even consider there were any other faiths or religion out there.  There was nothing other than the RCC that needed your full attention.................... I had a very difficult time, as a child.  What was real, what was fiction and why would no one allow me to ask questions, explore or even think for myself.

I can see, when a child is forced to accept what they are taught, with no thought to any other possibility allowed, it can be confusing.  Their imaginations are not allowed to work as they should. 

Expose your child to all religions, allowing them to realize many people believe in many different things.  Allow them to question and ask questions.  This can be done while still walking your path with what you believe in.  It opens the mind and allows our children, and even adults, to sometimes come to their path with more devotion.  It is the possibility that people thinking for themselves may find what they are being taught does not mesh with them that scares many. 

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Numbers 22:21-30  King James Version (KJV)

21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.

25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

Pema_Jampa
by SxyTaco on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

WTF?

Quoting Clairwil:

Numbers 22:21-30  King James Version (KJV)

21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.

25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.


jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM
2 moms liked this
Most kids would grow out of it. Some, like those who shouted down Bill Nye for saying the moon didn't make its own light, contrary to the bible, are pretty much drooling idiots.

Quoting snookyfritz:

My children never had an any more of an issue than a child who believes in the tooth fairy, santa claus or the Easter bunny

If any of that were even slightly true, we'd be a nation full of drooling idiots because most people believe. 

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM
As soon as I read the source of this article I stopped reading.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

My son is on the autistic spectrum.

One of the tests I gave him to use, to determine for himself whether a story is fact or fiction, is whether it involves magic or talking animals.

Talking animals eliminates a lot of cartoons.

Quoting Pema_Jampa:

WTF?

Quoting Clairwil:

Numbers 22:21-30  King James Version (KJV)

29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.


Pema_Jampa
by SxyTaco on Jul. 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Don't like the 

??????????
Quoting MeAndTommyLee: As soon as I read the source of this article I stopped reading.


latashac
by Bronze Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Most grow out iof it, but like Santa and the tooth fairy they probably wonder why they never see dinosaurs since the bible says we co-exist.

Pema_Jampa
by SxyTaco on Jul. 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Here for the people who don't like certain sources...

Study Claims Children Exposed to Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing between Fact and Fiction

Carrie Dedrick Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com | Tuesday, July 22, 2014


A new study published in Cognitive Science claims that children who are exposed to religion have more difficulty determining between fact and fiction than children of a secular upbringing. The study on 5 and 6-year-olds tested the children’s ability to differentiate between religious, fantastical and realistic stories. 
 
The 66 children involved in the research were divided into groups by church or parochial school attendance or a secular lifestyle. Researchers then gauged how well the children could pick out impossible elements in the fantastical stories such as talking animals. Another test turned religious stories into fictional narratives and found “religious children would more heavily rely on religion to justify their false categorizations,” reports the Huffington Post.
 
“In both studies, [children exposed to religious] were less likely to judge the characters in the fantastical stories as pretend, and in line with this equivocation, they made more appeals to reality and fewer appeals to impossibility than did secular children,” the report determined. 
 
The authors of the report believe that their research suggests “religious teaching, especially exposure to miracle stories, leads children to a more generic receptivity toward the impossible, that is, a more wide-ranging acceptance that the impossible can happen in defiance of ordinary causal relations.” That said, the researchers claim their work refutes previous ideas that children are “born believers.” 
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