Short Answer:”We don’t know because the study is flawed”|Are Religious Children “Meaner than Secular Children?”

William Briggs, an adjunct professor of statistics at Cornell, provides an overview of the flawed design and statistical analysis of this study. He first criticizes the indicator used to quantify “altruism,” and then ridicules the “moral sensitivity test” that children completed, which suggests a serious “abuse of regression on the pseudo-quantified answers … this model has no real predictive value.” Briggs concludes that “nearly everything is wrong with it, start to finish,” and is especially dismissive of the “wild, over-reaching theorizing about cause.” Suggesting that “altruism was not measured, but kids sticking stickers in envelopes was,” and he asks: “How much influence did the researcher have, especially with the younger kids? Did kids stick stickers because they wanted to prove to the whitecoat that they were compliant or because they wanted to be liked or because they wanted to share? Altruism forsooth!”

Source: Are Religious Children “Meaner than Secular Children?”