Supporters of religious violence are more likely to claim they’re familiar with religious concepts that don’t exist

Supporters of religious violence are more likely to claim they’re familiar with religious concepts that don’t exist

first_imgShare For their study, Jones and his colleagues recruited 409 American participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, 351 students from a university in Iran, and 209 individuals living on the Juarez/El Paso border region between Mexico and the United States.The two American samples were provided with a list of stories, concepts, and people — and were told that they all appeared in the Christian Bible. The participants were then asked to indicate how familiar they were with each item. But many of the items on the list, such as The Army Seventeen and Soren’s Temple, did not actually appear in the Bible. The Iranian sample completed a similar task regarding concepts from the Quran.The researchers found that those who claimed to be familiar with concepts that did not exist also tended to report being more supportive of religious aggression. In other words, individuals who claimed to have knowledge of fictitious religious concepts were more likely to agree with statements such as “I would shoot someone if I believed God wanted me to” and “The modern world needs a no mercy attitude toward the wicked.”“Overconfidence in what you think God supports or what scripture says is toxic. Thus, humility is a critical feature that is needed to bring out the best and most benevolent aspects of religion,” Jones told PsyPost.“Further, although overclaiming is toxic, actual religious knowledge (or admitting what you did not know) has the reverse effect such that it correlates with a peaceful disposition. In this way, knowing true vs. false stories in one’s Holy Book is associated with peaceful attitudes whereas claiming familiarity with false stories from one’s Holy Book is associated with violent attitudes.”“It is important to note that all of these findings are similar in Islam (with the Quran) and Christianity (with the Bible). Muslim participants were peaceful when they were accurate in their knowledge of the Quran (or at least honest about what they did not know), and supported violence when they were overconfident in their knowledge of the Quran; identical findings emerged for Christian participants with the Bible,” Jones explained.But there is still much to learn about the relationship between overclaiming religious knowledge and religious aggression.“We still need to understand the mechanisms behind why these correlations emerge. In other words, we need to further research what exactly drives religious overclaiming and why religious overclaiming translates into violent attitudes,” Jones said.“Further, we need to determine if these attitudes are merely supporting a violent agenda in the name of God, or if they actually predict real violent behavior. Finally, we need to know why religious accuracy predicts peaceful attitudes, and if indeed learning one’s Holy Book (accurately) can reduce violence and violent attitudes.”“The idea for this study was partially inspired by the fantastic work of my PhD mentor, Del Paulhus, who generated the overclaiming technique,” Jones added.“However, the impetus to further develop the idea emanated from a discussion I had with my mother. In a way, the origin of the idea was partially predicated on a bet with her. Origin notwithstanding, the outstanding team of researchers on this paper made tremendous contributions, and because of them, it became a far better paper.”The study, “Religious Overclaiming and Support for Religious Aggression“, was authored by Daniel N. Jones, Adon L. Neria, Farzad A. Helm, Reza N. Sahlan, and Jessica R. Carre.(Image by StockSnap from Pixabay) Email Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share on Facebook Individuals who claim knowledge of fake religious concepts are more supportive of religious aggression, while individuals with accurate religious knowledge are less supportive, according to new research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.“Although many quote the Christian Bible, few have read it. Thus, religious books are often incorrectly cited or cited in a way that serves personal prejudices and/or distorted worldviews,” said study author Daniel N. Jones, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada Reno.“Not only do people ‘pick and choose’ the stories of a religious book to support their worldview, they inaccurately attribute messages and interpretations to that Holy Book. Thus, we wanted to determine the consequences of this tendency towards overconfidence in religious scripture.”last_img

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