Date of Award
Master of Arts
Human origins have been debated by evolutionists and creationists. Christian young adults are educated first on creationism and learn of evolution later. This delayed education of evolution leads to potential belief change and stress. This belief change process may be similar to Berry’s acculturation. After belief change, individuals may exhibit belief bias during human origin argument evaluation. Little research has been done to explore a formal belief change model and belief bias in human origin argument evaluation. Data was collected from 121 PSYC 102 and MTurk participants in an online survey measuring evolution and creationist beliefs. Vignettes presented evidence for creationism and evolution. This evidence was evaluated by participants. Cluster analyses, MANOVAs, and ANOVAs were used to determine statistical significance. Results found three groups of individuals exist and these groups differed on age of exposure to evolution and belief change stress measures. These groups evaluated creationism and evolution evidence differently exhibiting belief bias during argument evaluation. These results expand current literature by finding a potential belief change model and preliminary evidence to support earlier teaching of evolution in schools. Limitations include violated statistical assumptions and forced clusters. Further research is needed to explore these three groups in more detail.
This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.