Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

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

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Jul 22
  • Comments

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.” 

 

 

Publication date: July 22, 2014