Four years ago, a study in Current Biology about religious upbringings and generosity made headlines in more than 80 newspapers around the world—from the Economist and the Guardian to the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. (Vox did not cover the study.) The research found that around the world, religious children were less generous.
But even at the time, some researchers raised questions about the study by the University of Chicago’s Jean Decety and co-authors. University of Oregon psychologist Azim Shariff told Science Magazine in 2015 that he was confused by the results as they didn’t match previous research in the field. “It doesn’t fit in easily with what’s been out there so far. So I’ve got to do some thinking—other people have got to do some thinking—with how it does fit,” he told the magazine.
Later, he requested the original authors share their data so he could figure out why they were getting different results from his own results.