Conceptual Similarities Among Fantasy and Religious Orientations: A Developmental Perspective

Conceptual Similarities Among Fantasy and Religious Orientations: A Developmental Perspective Often in conservative religious populations, fantastical thoughts, interests, and beliefs are discouraged because fantastical beliefs are thought to contradict religious doctrine. However, beliefs in invisible, omnipotent entities such as God and Santa Claus likely rely on similar conceptual abilities that might complement rather than contradict religiosity. Therefore, the present study examined how one’s current and retrospective fantasy orientation together are associated with religious orientation. Data from a sample of 150 adults demonstrated that propensity toward fantasy predicted degree of religious orientation in adulthood, even after controlling for an individual’s openness to experience. Specifically, individuals who reported higher fantastical cognitions and behaviors (currently and retrospectively) reported higher religious orientations. These data are counter to cultural concerns that fantastical play and thinking in childhood might undermine or contradict religious doctrine. This finding has important implications for our understanding of how religiosity and fantasy are related conceptually, as well as how cultural practices may impact conceptual development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cognition and Culture Brill

Conceptual Similarities Among Fantasy and Religious Orientations: A Developmental Perspective

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1567-7095
eISSN
1568-5373
D.O.I.
10.1163/15685373-12340021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Often in conservative religious populations, fantastical thoughts, interests, and beliefs are discouraged because fantastical beliefs are thought to contradict religious doctrine. However, beliefs in invisible, omnipotent entities such as God and Santa Claus likely rely on similar conceptual abilities that might complement rather than contradict religiosity. Therefore, the present study examined how one’s current and retrospective fantasy orientation together are associated with religious orientation. Data from a sample of 150 adults demonstrated that propensity toward fantasy predicted degree of religious orientation in adulthood, even after controlling for an individual’s openness to experience. Specifically, individuals who reported higher fantastical cognitions and behaviors (currently and retrospectively) reported higher religious orientations. These data are counter to cultural concerns that fantastical play and thinking in childhood might undermine or contradict religious doctrine. This finding has important implications for our understanding of how religiosity and fantasy are related conceptually, as well as how cultural practices may impact conceptual development.

Journal

Journal of Cognition and CultureBrill

Published: Mar 28, 2018

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