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Howsithangin

Scientists RETRACT controversial paper that said religious children ar

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Howsithangin

Scientists RETRACT controversial paper that said religious children are more likely to be MEAN, admitting they made a 'stupid mistake'

By JACK ELSOM FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 09:18 BST, 9 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:45 BST, 9 October 2019

 

  • Professor Jean Decety of the University of Chicago published his paper in 2015
  • It studied children from six different countries, a factor it failed to control for
  • Several fellow psychologists have pointed out the error over the past four years
  • Professor Decety has now requested the Current Biology withdraw his research

 

A contentious study which suggested religion makes children less generous and meaner has been retracted. Professor Jean Decety, based at the University of Chicago, has admitted making a 'stupid mistake' in the report, published four years ago. The retraction came after several fellow psychologists flagged an error in the way data had been collected. Professor Decety said the results showed country of origin, rather than religious affiliation, played a bigger role in how generous children were.

 

The Current Biology journal, where the paper was published, said it had scrapped the study at the 'request of the authors'.

 

On its website, it posted a statement from Professor Decety's team: 'An error in this article, our incorrect inclusion of country of origin as a covariate in many analyses, was pointed out... we apologize to the scientific community for any inconvenience caused.'

 

Professor Decety's paper, titled The Negative Association Between Religiousness And Children's Altruism Across The World, had initially claimed children of devout religious parents exhibit less altruistic behaviour.

And he wrote that the findings suggested they may inflict harsher punishments on people, if given the opportunity.

 

But after reexamining his paper after a slew of scientists heaped pressure on him by criticising the research method, Professor Decety backpedalled his claims.

 

He said: 'We found that country of origin, rather than religious affiliation, is the primary predictor of several of the outcomes.'

 

The error in the scientists' method was to treat each country as a single continuous variable, which meant that they were not controlled for.

 

<snip>

This retraction came only a year after a Psychological Medicine journal paper exploring psychopathic traits in prisoners which Professor Decety co-authored was also withdrawn.

 

LINK

 

****************************************************************

 

"mistake" <_<

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MontyPython

"mistake" <_<

 

Indeed.

 

<_<

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Rock N' Roll Right Winger

"Science" and "scientists" have been so bastardized and propagandized for underhanded political and criminal agendas that they have lost much of their credibility anymore as well as trust and respect.

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Howsithangin

"Science" and "scientists" have been so bastardized and propagandized for underhanded political and criminal agendas that they have lost much of their credibility anymore as well as trust and respect.

 

it's why I make a point to reply "geologist" rather than "scientist" when asked my profession.

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NumeroInsight

This is awesome: science working as designed.

 

Can you imagine a discipline that claimed to be a source of knowledge that never issued corrections?

 

That would mean either:

 

1) No one engaged in that discipline ever made a mistake, which is... an implausible idea.

 

or:

 

2) Everyone engaged in that discipline was so arrogant, or ignorant, or terrified of having a different opinion, that no one would ever admit a mistake when it was made.

 

The latter is all too plausible, and all to evident both historically and today. "We never make mistakes" is something totalitarians, and only totalitarians believe, but totalitarians, "Big Men", "Strong Leaders", and so on have always been very popular. The Soviets believed it. The NAZIs believe it. The Kim family in North Korea believes it. Quite a few other people believe it too.

 

If you're in a society that is intolerant of admitting mistakes, you're in a society that is--by logical necessity--stagnant, backward, and stuck, because the only way to learn in many cases is to say, "Hey, this thing we used to believe ain't so."

 

If you're terrified of admitting a mistake, too cowardly to stand up and say, "Hey, I changed my mind based on new information" you're going to end up believing a whole lot of ridiculous things. There's no way around that conclusion: people make mistakes, and often our initial accounts of things aren't so good. If we don't have the guts to own up to errors in belief, we never have the power to correct them.

 

I love it when I see retractions and corrections. In no other field of human endeavour do the practitioners have this kind of courage. It's glorious.

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Severian

Meh. I never make misteaks.

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Ticked@TinselTown

Meh. I never make misteaks.

 

That's a shame, you never get to enjoy A-1... :coolshades:

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MontyPython

This is awesome: science working as designed.

 

Can you imagine a discipline that claimed to be a source of knowledge that never issued corrections?

 

That would mean either:

 

1) No one engaged in that discipline ever made a mistake, which is... an implausible idea.

 

or:

 

2) Everyone engaged in that discipline was so arrogant, or ignorant, or terrified of having a different opinion, that no one would ever admit a mistake when it was made.

 

The latter is all too plausible, and all to evident both historically and today. "We never make mistakes" is something totalitarians, and only totalitarians believe, but totalitarians, "Big Men", "Strong Leaders", and so on have always been very popular. The Soviets believed it. The NAZIs believe it. The Kim family in North Korea believes it. Quite a few other people believe it too.

 

If you're in a society that is intolerant of admitting mistakes, you're in a society that is--by logical necessity--stagnant, backward, and stuck, because the only way to learn in many cases is to say, "Hey, this thing we used to believe ain't so."

 

If you're terrified of admitting a mistake, too cowardly to stand up and say, "Hey, I changed my mind based on new information" you're going to end up believing a whole lot of ridiculous things. There's no way around that conclusion: people make mistakes, and often our initial accounts of things aren't so good. If we don't have the guts to own up to errors in belief, we never have the power to correct them.

 

I love it when I see retractions and corrections. In no other field of human endeavour do the practitioners have this kind of courage. It's glorious.

 

All true. And of course the most prominent current example of your premise is the refusal of the "Sky-Is-Falling" climate-change alarmists to acknowledge the fact that the whole thing was long ago debunked as a fraud.

 

But maybe in this particular thread there's a point you missed: You see, the sneering in early posts (my own included) wasn't aimed at the retraction. It was aimed at the conspicuous agenda-driven stupidity involved in the original "study" itself.

 

Yes of course now that the "study" was released, the retraction is necessary. But the "study" was far too conspicuously nonsensical to have been released in the first place.

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Ticked@TinselTown

All true. And of course the most prominent current example of your premise is the refusal of the "Sky-Is-Falling" climate-change alarmists to acknowledge the fact that the whole thing was long ago debunked as a fraud.

 

But maybe in this particular thread there's a point you missed: You see, the sneering in early posts (my own included) wasn't aimed at the retraction. It was aimed at the conspicuous agenda-driven stupidity involved in the original "study" itself.

 

Yes of course now that the "study" was released, the retraction is necessary. But the "study" was far too conspicuously nonsensical to have been released in the first place.

 

Given that it was released in 2015 and they're just now issuing the retraction, it almost makes it seem like they were hoping nobody would notice their errors and conclusions.

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MontyPython

Given that it was released in 2015 and they're just now issuing the retraction, it almost makes it seem like they were hoping nobody would notice their errors and conclusions.

 

Ow, great point. I hadn't noticed the date. It took somebody four years to realize how exceptionally idiotic the original "study" was?

 

Shame on everybody involved.

 

B)

Edited by MontyPython

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