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(2,884 posts)
Thu Nov 5, 2015, 02:48 PM Nov 2015

Religious upbringing associated with less altruism, study finds

Again, the Templeton Foundation gets study results that contradict its belief in faith.
Result of the 'fine tuning' of 'objective morality'?

Religious upbringing associated with less altruism, study finds

By Susie Allen - November 5, 2015 - The University of Chicago

A team of developmental psychologists led by Prof. Jean Decety examined the perceptions and behavior of children in six countries. The study assessed the children’s tendency to share—a measure of their altruism—and their inclination to judge and punish others for bad behavior.

Children from religious families were less likely to share with others than were children from non-religious families (...). A religious upbringing also was associated with more punitive tendencies in response to anti-social behavior. (...)

For the altruism task, children participated in a version of the “Dictator Game,” in which they were given 10 stickers and provided an opportunity to share them with another unseen child. Altruism was measured by the average number of stickers shared.

For the moral sensitivity task, children watched short animations in which one character pushes or bumps another, either accidentally or purposefully. After seeing each situation, children were asked about how mean the behavior was and the amount of punishment the character deserved. (NB: Muslim kids dish out the harshest punishments) (...)

Children from religious households favored stronger punishments for anti-social behavior and judged such behavior more harshly than non-religious children. (...) “Together, these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism. (...)

The study was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

- See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/11/05/religious-upbringing-associated-less-altruism-study-finds#sthash.XiPDlIqD.dpuf


(22,340 posts)
1. It makes sense
Thu Nov 5, 2015, 02:52 PM
Nov 2015

If God is the metric by which you measure how you should act, it's all about punishment and reward for doing what God tells you to do. It's about doing things that you think will get you the rewards from God and not the punishments. Now certainly, more liberal branches of Christianity will focus on other aspects, but they are BY FAR the minority of Christianity.

Person 2713

(3,263 posts)
3. I think the study was of various religions but many can be judgey
Thu Nov 5, 2015, 02:54 PM
Nov 2015

The study included 1,170 children between ages 5 and 12, from six countries—Canada, China, Jordan, South Africa, Turkey and the United


(116,879 posts)
5. As is often the case with research in the social sciences, the proxies may be poor
Fri Nov 6, 2015, 04:49 PM
Nov 2015

It seems odd, for example, to interpret stronger disapproval of anti-social behavior as evidence for less altruism

And we should note that moral development ordinarily changes quite a lot over ages 5-12:


(45,851 posts)
7. And yet the holy book says as you judge so shall you be judged
Fri Nov 6, 2015, 07:45 PM
Nov 2015

Matthew 7:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?


(49,533 posts)
6. Well my respect for the Templeton Foundation went up a little bit...
Fri Nov 6, 2015, 05:00 PM
Nov 2015

since they still released the study despite it not showing what they wanted it to.

But like others have noted, these results don't surprise me.



(2,884 posts)
9. To be fair, the Templeton Foundation has a track record of disclosure
Fri Nov 6, 2015, 08:31 PM
Nov 2015

They also disclosed the study they made, and which is the only one conducted so far,
trying to determine an efficiency of prayer.


Praying has a zero to slightly negative result.

Power of prayer flunks an unusual test

Large study had Christians pray for heart-surgery patients



(51,907 posts)
10. Wondering if similar results were obtained over longer periods of time
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 03:21 AM
Nov 2015

The current fundie version of Christianity seems much nastier to me.



(2,884 posts)
11. I think both fundamentalist Christians and Muslims are getting nastier
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 05:22 AM
Nov 2015

For Muslims, that's due to the petrokings buying their survival at home by exporting the worst brand of Islam.

For Christians, it's probably the radicalization of people fearing being on the way out.


Warren Stupidity

(48,181 posts)
12. Templeton Foundation about to stop funding any more studies.
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 08:45 AM
Nov 2015

These guys were chartered to provide evidence for religion, and they keep coming up with reasons not to believe.



(2,884 posts)
13. Makes sense
Sat Nov 7, 2015, 10:26 PM
Nov 2015

Why fund research if it doesn't deliver the expected results?

Basic tenet of scientific enquiry.

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