Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Legare research featured on Richard Dawkins Foundation website

Thu, February 14, 2013
Cristine Legare, Ph.D.
Cristine Legare, Ph.D.

People Merge Supernatural and Scientific Beliefs When Reasoning With the Unknown

Reliance on supernatural explanations for major life events, such as death and illness, often increases rather than declines with age, according to a new psychology study from The University of Texas at Austin. 

The study, published in the June issue of Child Development, offers new insight into developmental learning.

“As children assimilate cultural concepts into their intuitive belief systems — from God to atoms to evolution — they engage in coexistence thinking,” said Cristine Legare, assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “When they merge supernatural and scientific explanations, they integrate them in a variety of predictable and universal ways.”

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