I published an op-ed that attempts to apply findings from the study my research team and I recently published.
A few years ago, ABC News reported on a study that showed participants were particularly aggressive after they were given a passage from the Bible in which God commanded the ancient Israelites to kill a group of people as punishment for raping a woman. Reports on scientific studies about religion like this one might be thought to influence what people learn about religion, as well as what they believe about it. Studies, however, suggest that it may be just the opposite -- what we believe is likely to influence what we read in the news about religion.
For example, my students and I at Lebanon Valley College conducted a study that investigated whether people's experience with religion influenced their preference for the type of information they read on the subject. The 213 students at the college, who served as participants, were asked to rate their preference for three fictitious, but scientific-looking summaries of research. The summaries purportedly described studies that found...continue reading