Why do some people stay in Christian Science, despite its failures?

Why do we stay in Christian Science? Emerging Gently offers a theory:

Intermittent reinforcement: “The name given to any pattern of reinforcement where only some responses are reinforced.”

Sometimes the healing happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Try harder, maybe it will this time.

Emerging Gently

Many of us who’ve left Christian Science, and I’m sure others who know about it, wonder why otherwise perfectly rational and sane people remain steadfast believers, despite repeated and undeniable failures on the part of Christian Science to heal. Most of us ex-Christian Scientists would put our past selves into that category of former ‘true believers despite the evidence to the contrary’. On a discussion thread in one of the ex-Christian Scientist Facebook groups, a group member offered a possible answer to this intriguing (to me, anyway) question.

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2 thoughts on “Why do some people stay in Christian Science, despite its failures?

  1. Bill Sweet says:

    Intermittent reinforcement: That is one reasonable explanation! Why? Because Christian Science is likely the most or near the top of the list of religions that believes in the paranormal. Of course, the term “paranormal” is not liked but facts speak for themselves.

    People (myself included) who believe in the paranormal are looking for those rare moments when things happen. Most of the time they aren’t happening at least not consciously. So someone who takes a successful healing out of a lineup of unsuccessful healings likes those moments a whole lot more than the ineffective moments.

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