Study: Exposing Your Children to Religion Reduces their Ability to Distinguish Fantasy from Reality

When you’re an angsty 15 year-old, dunking on religion is all the rage. Then, unless you’re a douchebag, you grow up a bit and realize how essential it is to some people’s emotional well being, and back off a bit.

Then you learn more and realize that it’s even worse for people to base their emotional well-being on fantasy, and try to split the difference between being a douchebag and attacking the systemic reasons why people buy into religion in the first place, in the hopes that we’ll more forward as a species and leave behind all the harmful superstitions.

Anyway, here’s a study.

Easter Bunny
Tooth Fairy
Santa Clause

2.1 Method

2.1.1 Participants

A total of sixty-six 5- and 6-year-old children participated ( M = 5;8, SD = 6 months, range: 4;11–6;7, 36 female). Participants were recruited from kindergarten classrooms in public schools ( n = 32) and parochial schools ( n = 34) in Cambridge, MA, and the surrounding area.

Monster study group. That was the first study. The second had half the number of participants.

Yeah but the effect size/p value offsets the small sample size. When p <0.001 that’s huge.

Well come on.
I love telling tall tales to kids, it fills them with wonder, and makes them giggle.
I love the Bible stories as literature.
I love faerie tales.
I love mythology.
My kids know I am an atheist.
But, I am careful to tell them that they must make their own decisions about such things, as I am in the dark, about matters way above my paygrade.
And I like exposing them to religious ceremonies, and discussions, as I believe it makes them think.
If I give them no exposure, they may have no immunity, if exposed to true cult situations.
Further, I want them to understand the themes and symbols, that have dominated philosophy, art, music and literature, for thousands of years.
Not to mention history.

Also, people are complicated, and should not be strictly rational all the time.
I myself am an Atheist who loves old timey Gospel music.
And some of the music and art that was made when the Catholic Church was a primary patron of musicians, and artists.
Go figure.

The difference here is teaching stories as stories vs. stories as true events.

This is you poking with sticks.

interviewing children…fantasy vs reality…5 and 6 year olds…

The issue is 5 and 6 year olds…

Thin, weak sticks.

If psychology does not make fun of religion, how could anyone tell the two apart?

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Wait, are they making fun of it, or just studying it “scientifically”.

Some stories ARE about true events, though.

They are making fun of it, in a pseudo-scientific way, of course.

ok, THAT makes more sense!

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Which are you favourite 5 true bible stories?

I don’t have any favorite Bible stories, true or not.

I think my favorite is Jonah and the whale.

slightly behind

Water to wine.

Can we agree that the bible stories may have been based on true events

Like Law and Order

Or Fargo