Save

Animals, Superman, Fairy and God: Children’s Attributions of Nonhuman Agent Beliefs in Madrid and London

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
View More View Less
  • 1 University of East LondonLondonUK
  • | 2 University of Castilla-La ManchaMadridSpain
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

There have been major developments in the understanding of children’s nonhuman concepts, particularly God concepts, within the past two decades, with a body of cross-cultural studies accumulating. Relatively less research has studied those of non-Christian faiths or children’s concepts of popular occult characters. This paper describes two studies, one in Spain and one in England, examining 5- to 10-year-olds’ human and nonhuman agent beliefs. Both settings were secular, but the latter comprised a Muslim majority. Children were given a false-belief (unexpected contents) task in which they were asked to infer about three humans (mother, classmate, teacher), three animals (dog, bear, bird) and three supernatural beings (Superman, fairy, God). Similar false beliefs about humans, with subtle differences in inferences about animals and supernatural beings, were found between the two locations. In London different patterns for God between participants with a family religion, in particular Muslims, and non-affiliates, were identified as well as an association between religious beliefs and practice and inferences about God. Findings are discussed in the light of theory and research on the role of sociocultural inputs in children’s theory of mind development and understanding of agency.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 389 166 50
Full Text Views 18 6 2
PDF Views & Downloads 24 7 1