Beyond Theological Correctness: The Role of Others’ Knowledge in Children’s Developing God-Concepts

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dc.contributor.advisor Cunningham, Joseph
dc.contributor.author Bersche, Sara
dc.date.accessioned 2009-05-15T15:17:06Z
dc.date.available 2009-05-15T15:17:06Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/23256
dc.description.abstract Adults have been shown to exhibit theological correctness – a tendency to explicitly entertain a description of supernatural agents (such as God) that is not actually used when representing or predicting the behavior of those agents – in their God-concepts (Barrett & Keil, 1996). This proposal aims to test the degree to which children use theological correctness; specifically, whether children’s applied concepts of God differ from their societies’ ideal concept, whether this is influenced by what the children think is God’s applied capacity, and how God’s perceived knowledge compares with the perceived knowledge of other agents in the children’s lives. To help answer these questions, children’s understanding of God’s intellectual capacity will be measured by asking them what they think God knows as compared to what other agents around them know about certain topics. Two groups of 24 children aged 4-5 and 7-8 (n = 48) will be asked who from among their parents, teacher, a doctor, and God ‘knows the most,’ ‘knows some,’ and ‘doesn’t know’ information about various actual and nonactual topics. A 2(Age) x 4(Agent) x 2 (Knowledge Type) ANOVA will be conducted to ascertain patterns of knowledge distribution across these 3 variables. It is hypothesized that the tendency to attribute more nonactual knowledge to God will increase with age. Other exploratory analyses are discussed.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Sara J. Bersche 2009
dc.subject Religious Development
dc.subject Knowledge
dc.subject Child Development
dc.title Beyond Theological Correctness: The Role of Others’ Knowledge in Children’s Developing God-Concepts
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Psychology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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