Religion makes kids meaner

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Chen
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Chen » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:35 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Unless the families in question had cultural biases to kill certain children based on gender then we can assume the standard gender distribution among children based on biological functions and move on.


The gender data is also in the supplemental information:

Country N(females)
Canada 206 (100)
China 219 (114)
Jordan 152 (62)
South Africa 188 (95)
Turkey 196 (84)
United States 190 (104)

Only Jordan and Turkey are skewed (both roughly 60-40 male/female)

The full text and supplemental information is at: http://www.cell.com/action/showExperime ... %2901167-7

I don't see the raw data anywhere nor do I see any of the other correlations that take about (country and meanness for example).

mcd001
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby mcd001 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:51 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The gender data is also in the supplemental information:

Country N(females)
Canada 206 (100)
China 219 (114)
Jordan 152 (62)
South Africa 188 (95)
Turkey 196 (84)
United States 190 (104)

Right. But it doesn't tell you how many are of which religion/non-religion. There could still be a gender bias in the study and you wouldn't know.

Chen wrote:Only Jordan and Turkey are skewed (both roughly 60-40 male/female)

Huh. Looks like there is a gender bias here. This could account for the report's lower 'sticker sharing' numbers for muslim kids. Maybe because they're mostly boys, not because they're muslim? Dunno, you certainly can't tell from the data.

leady
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby leady » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:39 am UTC

I have a couple of issues with the study, but the subjective conclusions are a bit all over the place (or at least the reported interpretations)

From a conclusion perspective
Firstly pure altruism is not a desirable thing in my opinion, which is a little ironic given that pure altruism is clearly a concept founded in religion. Not that the study is wrong on this per se (it is after all what it is measuring)
Other valid conclusions would also be - a) that religion teaches children material value or b) that religious homes are poorer. If you value something more, then you will be less altruistic. Conversely how altruistic is a rich Canadian atheist kid really being when he gives away a couple of stickers? I mean the locations scream (as an average)

Chicago (Christian, poor)
Toronto (secular, rich)
cape town (Christian, poor)
Turkey (Islam, poor)
Amman (Islam, poor)
Guangzhou (secular, Chinese affluent)

and within each of the religious locations, again the secular group will be at the affluent end (because secularism and wealth are correlated). To me the conclusion is far more likely that "to kids to whom stickers are worthless, they are more likely to give more away" & "religious people are poorer"

Tyndmyr
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:08 pm UTC

leady wrote:I have a couple of issues with the study, but the subjective conclusions are a bit all over the place (or at least the reported interpretations)

From a conclusion perspective
Firstly pure altruism is not a desirable thing in my opinion, which is a little ironic given that pure altruism is clearly a concept founded in religion. Not that the study is wrong on this per se (it is after all what it is measuring)


Altruism is found in animals, sometimes, the idea that it's founded in religion seems to be one of those "common sense" notions without actual evidence for it.

leady
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby leady » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:33 pm UTC

Are there any real examples of real open ended version of altruism in the animal world though? I can't think of any, the common ones are all largely kin selection mechanisms or mutual gain altruism (both sensible forms of altruism ).

I don't think there scenarios that for example one ant colony will share its food with another (or monkey tribe or wolf pack etc). The human idea of being altruistic to a unknown member of the species with zero chance of pay back is I believe without precedent in the natural world & is conceptually derived from a theological basis (but I recognise this is not an objective argument). But this I'd be highly interested in counter scenarios that are real, they would mess up my view of the natural world :)

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Deva
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Deva » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:31 pm UTC

Googled "Animals Helping Humans". Spoilered some below. Leaves authenticity to you.

Spoiler:
When you think about which animal you least want to show up when you're wounded and helpless, lions pretty much take the cake (and your face, and then some limbs, because they're lions). They're 300-pound, 6-foot-long cats that look at you as nothing more than a delicacy at a fancy lion restaurant they like to call Africa. But as we've noted before, lions also have a softer kitten center that leads them to care for some unlikely creatures.

In this instance, it's a 12-year-old Kenyan girl who had been missing for a week. It turned out that she had been abducted by several men who were trying to force her to marry one of them (because who has time for romance?). But when the authorities finally found her, she was alone, her kidnappers having fled. Instead, she was surrounded by three lions that had scared away, and hopefully maimed, her captors.

The police said that the lions had been guarding her for about half a day when they got there, not only abstaining from munching on the little girl themselves, but also making sure that nothing else got close to her. When the police finally arrived, the lions departed, perhaps roaring "Everybody gets one" as they left.

Experts say that the lions might have been reacting to the girl's tears as if they were the mews of a lion cub, but we all know the real reason: The little girl is a Beastmaster.

The reason you can keep a wild animal in a zoo without it constantly trying to jump out and murder visitors is that most animals are territorial. They are enclosed in a space that they can call their own, and as long as those borders are respected, they are happy to eat, frolic and mate for the entertainment of gawking onlookers.

But that territorial bubble was popped by a 3-year-old boy at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois -- he was right over the gorilla enclosure when he fell over the fence. The 18-foot drop left him unconscious and with a critical head injury. Since gorillas can be dangerously persnickety with their territory, the police were barred from immediate action -- who wants to see a violent battle between a SWAT team and a huge herd of gorillas? Except everyone?

So, with a child in need and no help in sight, Binti Jua stepped in. And as much as that sounds like Indian Superman, it wasn't. Binti just happened to be one of the zoo's gorillas.

Binti came to the boy's aid by cradling him in her arms and then bringing him to the enclosure door, where paramedics could get to him. The police and staff were quick to note that without Binti's assistance, the situation could have been much worse.

And in case you think we're just misunderstanding the gorilla's actions, it's actually not an isolated incident. Back in the 1980s, another kid fell into a gorilla enclosure, at Jersey Zoo. That time, the gorilla was a male silverback who watched over the unconscious boy and led away the rest of his troop when paramedics arrived. One has to wonder if these gorillas are naturally empathetic to our young or if they just feel sorry for how stupid we apparently are.

Dolphins are known to be some of the most compassionate and intelligent animals in the world. The evidence of the animals helping human beings dates back to the Ancient Greece. The friendly relationship between dolphins and human beings has been there since the old days.

In 2007, Todd Endris, a surfer was attacked by a white shark off the California's Marine State Park coast. It was dolphins that came to his rescue. The shark, believed to be 12-15 foot long, chopped off flesh from his leg to the bone, but the dolphins formed a protective ring around him and helped him to get to the shore safely.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

jewish_scientist
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

I went to the study looked for the information on what schools where picked. A single paragraph on the bottom of page 3 says...
Participants
5- to 12-year-old children (n = 1,151, mean (M) age = 8.29 years, SD = 2.17 years, n=559 females) were recruited from local schools in six countries around the world: Chicago (USA), Toronto (Canada), Cape Town (South Africa), Istan-bul and Izmir (Turkey), Amman (Jordan), and Guangzhou (China)

I could not find any other information on what kind of schools were used in the study. To be fair, I pressed ctrl-f and typed in 'school', so maybe more information is in there. In addition, the locations of the schools is very lopsided. There is 3 from the Africa and none from South America or Europe. I am not accusing the authors of intentionally leaving out data; I simple expected more data on the schools to be presented.

Also, maybe the make-up of each classroom has an effect. Imagine a class of 19 Christians and 1 Muslim in the deep South and a second class of 20 Muslim children in Cairo. I would expect the Muslim child to share less in the former than in the later. I realize that the study says Christian and Muslim children are less altruistic, but that is just an example of how demographics can change the result.

The is one last thing that has been bugging me. They showed that Christian and Muslim children are less altruistic, but said that religious children are less altruistic. 54.6% of the world's population is Christian or Muslim, but 29% of the world's population is affiliated with a different religion.*



*Citation: CIA (I feel awesome by just typing that)

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sardia
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:10 pm UTC

If demographics matters, then in your hypothetical example, the Christians would have better altruism scores than the Muslim instead of worse scores compared to atheists. Unless you are claiming that all classes are systemically biased towards a majority religious minority religious anti sharing scenario.
I feel you are grasping at the noise in the data instead of the signal.

Mutex
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Mutex » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:31 pm UTC

Has any other study come under this level of scrutiny in this forum (news and articles) before?

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Dauric
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Dauric » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:36 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Has any other study come under this level of scrutiny in this forum (news and articles) before?


I think there have been some, though I can't recall them off the top of my head. XKCD being a webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math, and Language does tend to attract a crowd of a certain statistical distribution.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:39 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Has any other study come under this level of scrutiny in this forum (news and articles) before?


Yes. The gun control thread has had some studies looked at in some detail, and likewise, there was a lengthy global warming thread with a lot of picking at studies. Generally, there needs to be some controversy, or nobody cares to go into significant detail, which I suppose is fair.

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sardia
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:33 pm UTC

It's very understandable why its under such scrutiny. Imagine how you'd feel if a large part of your life was called out as not only wrong, but actively making life worse. Not that this study makes such grandiose claims but it does hint at a lot. So of course we should heavily scrutinize this and future spin off studies.

leady
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby leady » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:50 am UTC

Again I'm not sure why it would concern people, more blind altruism is not by definition a pure good. At best the altruism curve will look like the laffer curve and who knows where the sweet spot is

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duckshirt
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby duckshirt » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:42 am UTC

I didn't really even doubt the thread, but this person (an atheist) critiqued it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingt ... ious-kids/
lol everything matters
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Chen
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:50 pm UTC

duckshirt wrote:I didn't really even doubt the thread, but this person (an atheist) critiqued it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingt ... ious-kids/


The featured comment in the article (despite obviously being biased by the language being used) seems like a better refutation than that actual article.

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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby ucim » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The featured comment in the article (despite obviously being biased by the language being used) seems like a better refutation than that actual article.
What was the featured comment? I can't see it (at least not without allowing a shitton of scripts loose on my computer).

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Chen
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Re: Religion makes kids meaner

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:20 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Chen wrote:The featured comment in the article (despite obviously being biased by the language being used) seems like a better refutation than that actual article.
What was the featured comment? I can't see it (at least not without allowing a shitton of scripts loose on my computer).

Jose


It elaborated on some more points of contention with the original study. It was almost as long as the article it was a comment to.


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