The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Friday, November 6, 2015

Non-religious upbringing makes children kinder, more altruistic!

... a newly published study has found:

The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World

Here, we assessed altruism and third-party evaluation of scenarios depicting interpersonal harm in 1,170 children aged between 5 and 12 years in six countries (Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey, USA, and South Africa), the religiousness of their household, and parent-reported child empathy and sensitivity to justice.
However, religiousness was inversely predictive of children’s altruism and positively correlated with their punitive tendencies. Together these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism, challenging the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior.

Stan (Heretic)


Liturgy said...

This may help prevent misinterpreting statistics:

Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Lithurgy,

Welcome to my blog!

You are correct that correlation (as measured in the study) does not imply causuation. I see it as a starting point for further analysis, same as in the case of many of the dietary and nutrition studies. The same problem - they indicate a possible connection but we don't know yet for sure (in case of beliefs, not diets!) what that connection may be. In any case, I find it interesting to look at that particular study from a perspective of those other studies and ideas I discussed in those posts:

I have a suspicion that there is a common factor behind the self-centered competitive tendencies exhibited by many (though not all) extroverts, collectivists and pro-socialites, and a collectivistic nature of many religious (and other organised groups) which seems to attract such people, who might not exactly care about a particular nature of a belief as long as there is one to rally around and a group associated with it. In other words, we may be dealing with a selection effect.
Stan (Heretic)