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Thread: Paper on religion and generosity retracted

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Paper on religion and generosity retracted

    Remember that study that came out a few years ago that said that religious children end up being less generous, and that made headlines all around the world?

    Well, it's been retracted.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...wUCRNWX8qHuzOY
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    While this article shines a nice light, Captain Negative cannot avoid cursing the darkness:

    1) The media suck. They suck so blowfully that it almost makes one want to adjust the First Amendment.

    2) It's been known for about 15 years, maybe more, that the published results of most scientific studies are false. (But the technical definition of "false" can be so arcane that even *that* conclusion is dubious!) Basically, we should just trust our confirmation bias, and rely on creative and scary ad hominems to win debates.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    While this article shines a nice light, Captain Negative cannot avoid cursing the darkness:

    1) The media suck. They suck so blowfully that it almost makes one want to adjust the First Amendment.

    2) It's been known for about 15 years, maybe more, that the published results of most scientific studies are false. (But the technical definition of "false" can be so arcane that even *that* conclusion is dubious!) Basically, we should just trust our confirmation bias, and rely on creative and scary ad hominems to win debates.
    The problems with bogus research plagues some fields far more than others.

    Medical research is currently a mess (again with some areas more adversely affected than others). One problem is that there are a bunch of fake, legitimate sounding journals that keep popping up which will print your "research" if you pay them from which you can use that to push for everything from grant money to getting the results picked up and covered by the media.

    The cable TV show "Adam Ruins Everything" covered this in an episode on nutrition where they reported on a journalist who had a fictitious study claiming that eating chocolate helps you lose weight (“Chocolate with high cocoa content as a weight-loss accelerator”) published in the International Archives of Medicine for 600 Euros. It was picked up by multiple news outlets often getting front page coverage.

    The entire affair can be read about here: I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How as well as here: How the "chocolate diet" hoax fooled millions.

    The host of the aforementioned TV show, Adam Conover, had his own fraudulent study "The Possible Irritating Effects of Nutritional Facts" published in a faux journal called Advances In Nutrition And Food Technology to confirm that this does indeed happen. It was pretty obvious that the publisher never read it for it is a blatant spoof.

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    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    The problems with bogus research plagues some fields far more than others.
    Any such list needs to be headlined by Sokal's Hoax. But where Sokal interlaced his submission with deliberate physics howlers, this paper was subject to a more mundane issue: inadvertent errors of a researcher with deficits in math.

    I might point out the paper being retracted had positive results, too, which also disappear in the re-analysis.

    Conducting Decety et al. [1]’s intended analysis also finds no support for their conclusion that more religious parents report their children having more empathy and sensitivity to injustices.

    But the faults of researchers, which should never be ignored, are overwhelmed by the faults of science writers and popularizers, and the Psychology Today article in the o/p is no exception. Rather than reporting the conclusion of the re-analysis ...

    In sum, Decety et al. [1] have amassed a large and valuable dataset, but our reanalyses provide different interpretations of the authors’ initial conclusions. Most of the associations they observed with religious affiliation appear to be artifacts of between-country differences, driven primarily by low levels of generosity in Turkey and South Africa. However, children from highly religious households do appear slightly less generous than those from moderately religious ones.

    ... the author took advantage of the retraction to nudge the conclusion, less than honestly, into a promotion of his own work.
    Last edited by Juvenal; 09-29-2019 at 04:54 AM.

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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Remember that study that came out a few years ago that said that religious children end up being less generous, and that made headlines all around the world?

    Well, it's been retracted.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...wUCRNWX8qHuzOY
    I doubt these papers are reliable evidence of anything, because such studies can always be negated by further research. And I think they are absolutely useless for apologetics. Something more certain than such papers is called for.

    Papers of that sort may be of some value as indicating how to behave. For apologetics, a higher degree of certainty is needed.

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