Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wide Spread Belief in Myths of Child Psychology

Today I want to point everyone to an excellent article in Skeptical Inquirer (The Magazine For Science and Reason) titled "Science vs. Silliness for Parents:  Debunking the Myths of Child Psychology."  Unfortunately the article is only available to subscribers (you should definitely be one as this is an amazing publication that focuses on science and reason).

The article itself discusses a research study in which college students and parents, as two separate groups, were given several statements on child psychology and asked to state whether they thought the statement was true or false.  For example, one statement was "Most 'only children' (without siblings) are more likely to be selfish and spoiled."  Science does not support this statement, yet 79% of college students and 54% of parents said this was true.  Wow!  Another statements was "Most toddlers go through a 'terrible two's' stage."  Again, no science supports this statement, yet 88% of college students and 83% of parents (the highest of any statement given) said this was true.  Double wow!  

It goes to show you that ALL of us have misconceptions, many of which we are not even aware of.  For example, when my children were two, I believed in the 'terrible two's' myth.  It wasn't that I felt my kids were 'terrible' at that age, but that it was something I had heard over and over.  It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I read an article on this and discovered science says this is false.  

If you have a chance to read the January/February 2017 issue of Skeptical Inquirer in which this article is found, please do so.  It's an excellent article.  Better yet, subscribe to the magazine.  I can't even begin to explain the amount I've learned and the number of misconceptions I've had cleared up as a result of this publication.  It is worth EVERY dollar.

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