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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Young 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.

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nullifidian

 

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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.

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Not surprising.

#1 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-23 08:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

Continues into adulthood.

#2 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-07-23 08:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Given this study I wish I was exposed to Religion...

Whatever happened to being a kid and imagining things...

Who would want to goto a school at age 5-6 where everything only facts......

#3 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-23 09:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Today, fewer and fewer children are receiving religious instructions. Look at the state we are in as a nation. Nuff said.

#4 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-07-23 09:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

Neither can an adult exposed to liberalism.

#5 | Posted by mysterytoy at 2014-07-23 09:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Neither can most adults. see economics.

#6 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-07-23 11:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

#3 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

Dunno, depends on the questions they asked the kids I guess.

It's hard for a kid in that kind of environment not to mix up reality and fantasy when parents and teachers tell you about a talking snake, bush, and donkey, that Jesus definately died, but came back to life 3 days later, 5000 animals fit on a small boat, there was a worldwide flood that killed everyone but those on that boat, Jesus walked on water, Moses parted the Red Sea, people living 700+ years, and now, in the new and improved logic, dinosaurs...etc.

Most kids don't understand the difference between literal and allegorical interpretation, especially when a parent or adult speaks with authority on the subject.

So yeah I can see, depending on the questions asked, that a kid raised and taught in that environment can have problems distinguishing between reality and fantasy.

#7 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-07-24 12:09 AM | Reply | Flag:

Today, fewer and fewer children are receiving religious instructions. Look at the state we are in as a nation. Nuff said.

Today, fewer and fewer children are receiving Orphan Annie decoder rings. Look at the price of pizza. Nuff said.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-24 12:23 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

This quote from the article belies the whole thing:

"..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.'"

What in the hell is wrong with that? Nothing. But it's made to sound like a sickness, not sanity.
A sane man needs no explanation of why I might whistle a tune or smile to myself, but a paranoid can not stop until he has found a 'reason' for it. The latter is the sick frame of mind.

#9 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-07-24 01:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

What in the hell is wrong that?

#9 | POSTED BY DIABLO

Nothing is right. If you dont mind your children being morons and magical thinkers

#10 | Posted by soulfly at 2014-07-24 03:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Children Exposed To Religion"

They prosecute these acts nowadays.

#11 | Posted by 726 at 2014-07-24 11:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

Today, fewer and fewer children are receiving religious instructions.

My neighbors children all received religious instructions and made their 1st communion and confirmations.

One set a neighbors garage on fire. The other punched out a school bus window.

Should the parents ask for refund?

#12 | Posted by 726 at 2014-07-24 11:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Hilarious. 5 year olds are supposed to separate metaphor from fact in ancient texts, something scholars of all ages have argued about for millennia, and then apply their understanding to fictional stories.

From the study

"In two studies, 5- and 6-year-old children were questioned about the status of the protagonist embedded in three different types of stories. In realistic stories that only included ordinary events, all children, irrespective of family background and schooling, claimed that the protagonist was a real person. In religious stories that included ordinarily impossible events brought about by divine intervention, claims about the status of the protagonist varied sharply with exposure to religion. Children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school, or both, judged the protagonist in religious stories to be a real person, whereas secular children with no such exposure to religion judged the protagonist in religious stories to be fictional."

onlinelibrary.wiley.com

When 12 year olds have the same problem get back to us.

#13 | Posted by Corky at 2014-07-24 11:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

I have to agree with corky. Why don't they study 18 year olds and see if there is a meaningful difference?

#14 | Posted by eberly at 2014-07-24 11:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

#12

Are you relating that to the religious instruction?

#15 | Posted by eberly at 2014-07-24 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

'tis true that a lot of past fiction is currently nonfiction:

io9.com

#16 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-07-24 12:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

"'tis true that a lot of past fiction is currently nonfiction:"

I love reading old science fiction short stories. It always amazes me how close many of them come. Well aside from everything labeled atomic.

#17 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-07-24 12:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

I thought open mindedness was celebrated? Diversity of thought too.

#18 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-07-24 01:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

When the article is lacking in details about the study that was done, I'm always suspicious about claims on controversial topics where people tend to have agendas.

#19 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-24 02:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Let them have their fun, Sully. Even scientists, with their constipated deadpan delivery, need a humorous outlet.

#20 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-07-25 03:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

BTW, what the rationalists can not handle, and what is overt in reality, is that something we can not see has intelligence.
No one can prove that is God, but it remains so obvious only a bitter, resentful and stubborn mind will refuse to admit it.

#21 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-07-25 03:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

Can someone translate #21 to English? My understanding when fanatics start speaking in tongues isn't what it used to be.

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-07-25 04:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

22: I would have more gently asked Obvious to whom, but yours is more pointed.

Diablo, don't be ridiculous. If it were obvious, we would hardly have these arguments. "Obvious" in religion and politics generally relies on perspective.

#23 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-07-25 08:08 AM | Reply | Flag:

#12
Are you relating that to the religious instruction?

#15 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-07-24 11:46 AM | REPLY | FLAG:

It was in response to this baloney...

"Today, fewer and fewer children are receiving religious instructions. Look at the state we are in as a nation. Nuff said.

#4 | POSTED BY DANIEL AT 2014-07-23 09:37 PM | FLAG: "

#24 | Posted by 726 at 2014-07-25 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

uhhh... to me this is extremely disturbing.

The ability to believe in impossible fantasy things should be running close to a HUNDRED PERCENT of "5 and 6 year olds".

#25 | Posted by soheifox at 2014-07-25 05:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

Honestly the parents of the secular children should be downright ashamed of themselves.

Let the kids have a childhood, let them believe in magic. It doesn't have to be hard science and dour philosophy from birth.

Fascist pigs.

#26 | Posted by soheifox at 2014-07-25 05:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Let the kids have a childhood, let them believe in magic. "

That's great, but when you get older you're supposed to stop believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or "Gawd".

#27 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-25 05:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's great, but when you get older you're supposed to stop believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or "Gawd".
#27 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

There are still fantasies you cling too....... let them have their god...

#28 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-25 05:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's great, but when you get older you're supposed to stop believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or "Gawd".
#27 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

Or that there's a magical plant that can cure both narcolepsy and insomnia at the same time.

#29 | Posted by soheifox at 2014-07-25 05:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Or that there's a magical plant that can cure both narcolepsy and insomnia at the same time."

It appears that cannabis is a safe cure for insomnia.

#30 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-25 06:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

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