The CORE Lab, in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast (QUD) and University College Dublin (UCD), has recently received funding from the Development Belief Network for a project investigating religion in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI). 

The Development Belief Network is a network of social scientists that emphasizes the importance of collaborative science through research that investigates the development of religious beliefs and the variation of acquisition. They take an international and cross-cultural approach to much of their work.

This study, which will span across a period of two years, will conduct research that examines the effects of within-culture variation in family socialization and religiosity in schools on children’s religious and scientific beliefs in NI, where there exists a stark religious divide.  

The study will also examine how between-culture variation in the school setting affects children’s thinking about social categories and boundaries between entities including God, mind, body, and soul. RoI will serve as a comparison to NI as it is religiously homogeneous. 

This research, which enables the CORE Lab and collaborators to contribute to the goals of the Development Belief Network, is essential to understanding more about the acquisition and transmission of religious identity and cognition, influenced by religious values, conflict, and education.

This team combines the expertise of developmental psychologist Jocelyn Dautel, and social and peace psychologist Laura K. Taylor, with the expertise of cognitive psychologists Aidan Feeney and John Coley. 

– By Kyleigh Watson