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  Text analysis shows conceptual overlap as well as domain-specific differences in Christian and secular worldviews

Watts, J., Passmore, S., Jackson, J. C., Rzymski, C., & Dunbar, R. I. (2020). Text analysis shows conceptual overlap as well as domain-specific differences in Christian and secular worldviews. Cognition, 201: 104290. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104290.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-3E22-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-3E23-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Watts, Joseph1, Author              
Passmore, Sam, Author
Jackson, Joshua Conrad, Author
Rzymski, Christoph1, Author              
Dunbar, Robin I.M., Author
Affiliations:
1Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074311              

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Free keywords: Text analytics, Religion, Supernatural belief, Christianity, Secularization, Ontology, World explanations, Open data, Preregistered
 Abstract: Theories differ over whether religious and secular worldviews are in competition or represent overlapping and compatible frameworks. Here we test these theories by examining homogeneity and overlap in Christian and non-religious people's explanations of the world. Christian and non-religious participants produced free text explanations of 54 natural and supernatural phenomena. Using a new text analytic approach, we quantitatively measure the similarity between 7613 participant generated explanations. We find that the relative homogeneity of Christian and non-religious people's explanations vary depending on the kind of phenomena being explained. Non-religious people provided more similar explanations for natural than supernatural phenomena, whereas Christian explanations were relatively similar across both natural and supernatural phenomena. This challenges the idea that religious systems standardize and restrict people's worldviews in general, and instead suggest this effect is domain specific. We also find Christian and non-religious participants used largely overlapping concepts to explain natural and supernatural phenomena. This suggests that religious systems supplement rather than compete with secular based worldviews, and demonstrates how text analytics can help understand the structure of group differences.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-042020-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 5
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104290
Other: shh2569
 Degree: -

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Title: Cognition
  Other : Cognition
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 201 Sequence Number: 104290 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0010-0277
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925391298