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Children’s Beliefs about Miracles

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The goal of the present study was to assess the nature and development of children’s concepts of miracles — their understanding of what miracles are, their beliefs in miracles, and their use of miracles as an explanatory device. A total of 36 7–12-year-old children attending an Episcopal school were given a combination of tasks and structured interview questions. Parents filled out a family religiosity questionnaire. Results revealed multi-faceted conceptions of miracles, along with a high level of belief, and indicated that children considered miracles an effective explanatory construct. We apply these findings to the general question of how children learn to explain their world.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin 20 E Dean Keeton Street, Austin, tx 78712USA ; 2: The University of Texas, Dell Medical School, Seton Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency 4312 Scales Street, Austin, tx 78723USA


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