Cultural Context Shapes Essentialist Beliefs About Religion

Lisa Chalik, Sarah Jane Leslie, Marjorie Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study investigates the processes by which essentialist beliefs about religious categories develop. Children (ages 5 and 10) and adults (n = 350) from 2 religious groups (Jewish and Christian), with a range of levels of religiosity, completed switched-at-birth tasks in which they were told that a baby had been born to parents of 1 religion but raised by parents of another religion. Results indicated that younger children saw religion-based categories as possible essential kinds, regardless of the child's own religious background, but that culture-specific patterns emerged across development. This work shows that cultural context plays a powerful role in guiding the development of essentialist beliefs about religious categories. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 30 2017

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Keywords

  • Psychological essentialism
  • Religion
  • Social categorization
  • Social-cognitive development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Cultural Context Shapes Essentialist Beliefs About Religion. / Chalik, Lisa; Leslie, Sarah Jane; Rhodes, Marjorie.

In: Developmental Psychology, 30.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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