The development and diversity of religious cognition and behavior: Protocol for Wave 1 data collection with children and parents by the Developing Belief Network

Kara Weisman*, Maliki E. Ghossainy*, Allison J. Williams, Ayse Payir, Kirsten A. Lesage, Bolivar Reyes-Jaquez, Tamer G. Amin, Florencia K. Anggoro, Emily R.R. Burdett, Eva E. Chen, Lezanee Coetzee, John Coley, Audun Dahl, Jocelyn Dautel, Helen Elizabeth Davis, Elizabeth L. Davis, Gil Diesendruck, Denise Evans, Aidan Feeney, Michael GurvenBenjamin D. Jee, Hannah Kramer, Tamar Kushnir, Natassa Kyriakopoulou, Katherine McAuliffe, Abby McLaughlin, Shaun Nichols, Angeliki Nicolopoulou, Peter C. Rockers, Laura Schneidman, Ireni Skopeliti, Mahesh Srinivasan, Amanda R. Tarullo, Laura Taylor, Yue Yu, Meltem Yucel, Xin Zhao, Kathleen Corriveau, Rebekah Richert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Developing Belief Network is a consortium of researchers studying human development in diverse social-cultural settings, with a focus on the interplay between general cognitive development and culturally specific processes of socialization and cultural transmission in early and middle childhood. The current manuscript describes the study protocol for the network’s first wave of data collection, which aims to explore the development and diversity of religious
cognition and behavior. This work is guided by three key research questions: (1) How do children represent and reason about religious and supernatural agents? (2) How do children represent and reason about religion as an aspect of social identity? (3) How are religious and supernatural beliefs transmitted within and between generations? The protocol is designed to address these questions via a set of nine tasks for children between the ages of 4 and 10 years, a comprehensive survey completed by their parents/caregivers, and a task designed to elicit conversations between children and caregivers. This study is being conducted in 39 distinct cultural-religious groups (to date), spanning 17 countries and 13 languages. In this manuscript, we provide detailed descriptions of all elements of this study protocol, give a brief overview of the ways in which this protocol has been adapted for use in diverse religious communities, and present the final, English-language study materials for 6 of the 39 cultural-religious groups who are currently being recruited for this study: Protestant Americans, Catholic Americans, American members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, and religiously unaffiliated Americans.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292755
Number of pages52
JournalPLoS One
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • children
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • study protocol
  • human development
  • cultural transmission
  • Socialization

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