• Study Proves Atheists are No Good Cheaters?

    May 1, 2011 11:31 am 51 comments

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    A recent unbiased scientific study published in the International Psychology of Religion Quarterly Journal is believed by some academics to contain clear evidentiary proof of the long held belief that Atheists and those with viewpoints harnessed by “compassionate” humanist dogma are in fact no good cheaters.

    The clinical study included a group of 67 participants; 31% classified as European Caucasians, 23% Northern Asian Orientals, 18% Southern Asians; 10% Hispanic and 18% classified as mixed other with Caucasian as a solute. Afro-saxons were excluded from the study due to arithmetic barriers and to ensure clean data for publication without racial perceptions being used to justify cheating by this minority group.

    A God Scale was employed to measure the perception of the Creator using 50% humanist dogma traits (forgiving, loving, compassionate, gentle, kind, comforting, and good looking) and 50% Biblically correct traits (vengeful, harsh, judgmental, angry, punishing, jealous, and terrifying). Participants were asked to place a value for ‘accuracy’ for each trait on an ordinal scale (0-9) based on personal perception and scripture understanding.

    Just tell me what you see

    The study used a simple test to add sets of 15 two digit, random numbers without the aid of a calculator or scrap paper. The participants were told to provide an answer to 20 of these arithmetic questions prior to pressing the space bar because of a “glitch” in the system that would provide the answer briefly on the screen. The “glitch” was communicated to all participants in order to provide equal, unfettered opportunity for everyone to cheat, while also instructing them not to use it. For those subjects choosing to cheat, part of the study design was to measure not only if the cheat was used, but the time between the questions appearing and when the space bar “short cut” was employed.

    Each participant was timed for the tests. Study subjects were allotted one minute to provide an answer to each question before that question was determined incorrect and the next question would appear on the screen. A mild resistance electric charge was delivered via a truck battery placed under the seats and administered through electrodes firmly attached to the subject’s inner upper-thigh for incorrect responses to encourage and reinforce greater performance on the next question. No reward or reinforcement was provided for correct or “cheat” answers.

    Redemption of Conventional Wisdom and an Interesting Surprise within the Results

    In conformance with conventional wisdom and the American experience, a Bible based belief of a vengeful, harsh, judgmental, angry, punishing, jealous, and terrifying God proved to create a domino effect of honest, non cheating behaviors within the decision making construct for those European heritage Caucasians facing a cheat or not to cheat conundrum within the parameters of the study.

    Results of the testing showed that those that incorrectly view God with strongly biased humanist traits (forgiving, loving, compassionate, gentle, kind, comforting, and good looking) cheated within 5 seconds of the question appearing on the screen for over 80% of the questions, received fewer electric encouragements and scored better on the overall exam in terms of correct answers. The makeup of this group was overwhelmingly Asian, which raises some interesting questions.

    Asians have for some time been lauded as “better” or more disciplined in arithmetic exercises from an academic view. This begs the question, so why did the Asians cheat? Is it simply because the opportunity presented itself free of obligation or consequence? Or have Asians been cheating on math tests all along? These questions pose serious debate and warrant further research and study, although results are expected to be repeatable and redundant.

    Applications and Limitations of the Results

    While it would not be prudent to claim that all atheists and those that see God in humanist terms are cheaters or will cheat at every opportunity due to the limited p-values of the study sample, evidence does suggest that those that do possess a Bible based belief in consequences and a will to not anger a judgmental God are in fact more honest. All of which does suggest those with a less scriptural world view are cheaters and dishonest.

    The methodology for constructing a lab handed “cheat” is problematic. Perceptions could arise that the docent leading the group through the instructive portion prior to testing and is goading or corroborating with the study subjects; thusly guiding them to cheat. Further inquiry is needed to develop a cheat that can be clearly communicated without such bias, such as a knowledgeable mole plant to secretly reveal the “glitch”.

    Applications for the findings are varied with potential for use in employment determination for specific jobs that require honest decision making as well as those areas where decision making is limited and highly controlled. Does anyone care if the garbage man is an Atheist cheater?

    Overall the study illuminates the barriers of making parallels to religious belief specifically but allows for more enlightened path through self subscribed viewpoints and situational responses.

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    About The Author
    Blanche Beecham "Blanche Beecham lends a soft, learned hand to the fourth estate with incite-full investigations on diverse topics such as Politics, Love, and Lifestyle. Her many years experience as a wife, mother, ladies book club president and financial auditor make her well suited to ferreting out the truth and giving it a sound shake." - Rev. Jackson Lee Whitebelley, Publisher and Editor of "The Incubator" - Follow me on Twitter! @BLANCHEBEECHAM

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