- Bloom, P., & Weisberg, D.S. (2007). Childhood origins of adult resistance to science. Science, 316, 996-997.
Sorry, a dinosaur publisher has locked it behind a subscription, but a modified version is available through a publication that needs a significant redesign (and RSS feeds): Why do some people resist science?
It points out that Americans’ resistance to evolution is specific to their culture, which allows childhood intuitions to lasted longer than their best-before date.
[R]esistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with early emerging, intuitive expectations. This resistance will persist through adulthood if the scientific claims are contested within a society, and will be especially strong if there is a non-scientific alternative that is rooted in common sense and championed by people who are taken as reliable and trustworthy.
This should sound familiar, though it doesn’t mention the category mistakes referred to in this paper…
- Marjaana Lindeman, Kia Aarnio, Superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs: An integrative model, Journal of Research in Personality (2006).
For further reading, Chris at Mixing Memory has excellent and topical commentary in his post, Thinking About Evolution (Slight Reprise).
Hat tip goes to Corpus Callosum, who worries this research could be used to discredit science. I fail to see how, but perhaps I’m suffering from a poverty of the imagination.