Cross-Cultural Evidence Supporting the Existence of Constraints in Conceptual Development: Are the Places where Allah and God Live the Same?, pp. 207-224
Authors: (Dimitris Pnevmatikos, Nikos Makris, Department of Primary Education, University of Western Macedonia, Greece, and others)
Abstract: This study shed light on the constraints in the process of conceptual change and their nature. Cross-cultural data was collected regarding the representation of the place where Allah or God lives. Two hundred eighty five Christian and Muslim children and young adults were asked to draw both the place where they live and the place where their deity lives. The results indicated that participants from both religious groups had to circumvent the same cognitive constraints in the process of the acquisition of their theologically accepted concepts of the deity. The initial representations in both groups were formed on the basis of the entrenched beliefs about the human ontology, and in the course of development the revision processes of these entrenched beliefs were found to be the same in both groups. Cultural transmitted information is reflected in the specific drawings that children produced to represent the place where their deity lives in each phase of the developmental procedure. Moreover, cultural differences and differences in teaching religion had an influence on the developmental milestones in the revision of the children‟s previously held beliefs.