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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Children Exposed to Religion Fail to Discern Fact from Fantasy

Integrated Strategic Improvement Systems
Integrated Strategic Improvement Systems
Studies show that children who are exposed to religion and religious beliefs have a harder time separating fact from fantasy than their non-religious peers.

In the studies, the children were divided into four groups: Public school students who attended church and did not attend church comprised two groups; the other two groups were divided similarly among students from parochial schools.  The groups were then exposed to three types of stories: Biblical, Fantasy (generally involving magic and/or the Supernatural), and realistic.

While all of the children correctly identified the protagonist as real in stories about mundane events (realistic), children who attended church or parochial school had difficulties determining whether or not the protagonists from Biblical and Fantasy stories were real or not.  Children from public schools who did not attend church almost uniformly identified Biblical and Fantasy protagonists as fictitious.

While the study has limitations, the researchers concluded that exposure to religion is more likely than not to detrimentally affect children's ability to discern fact from fiction.

The results were published in Cognitive Science in 2014.

© The Weirding, 2014-2019

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