December 18, 2010

"Simply having this 12-inch Christmas tree in the room with them made them feel less included in the university as a whole..."

"... which to me is a pretty powerful effect from one 12-inch Christmas tree in one psychology lab."
When people who did not celebrate Christmas or who did not identify as Christian filled out surveys about their moods while in the same room as a small Christmas tree, they reported less self-assurance and fewer positive feelings than if they hadn't been reminded of the holiday, according to a new study.

The university students didn't know the study was about Christmas, said study researcher Michael Schmitt, a social psychologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Nonetheless, he said, the presence of the tree caused non-celebrators and non-Christians to feel subtly excluded.

68 comments:

LYNNDH said...

BS

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... the presence of the tree caused non-celebrators and non-Christians to feel subtly excluded."

That's because they are excluded.

If you choose to be a Muslim, then you're deliberately excluding yourself from bar mitzvah's.

If you choose to be a Christian, then you have deliberately excluded yourself from Hannakuh celebrations.

If you choose to be a Christian, you cannot visit Mecca. It is against the law for any Christian to visiting Mecca or Medina.

There is nothing wrong with people excluding themselves. I excluded myself from the KKK and feel exclued any time I see white sheet wearing racists.

I, for one, do not wish to be included with Muslims.

I choose Christianity specifically so that I can exclude myself from Ramadan and whenever Muslims are washing their feet, I feel excluded.

Every mosque that is built causes me to feel excluded.

DaveW said...

I feel excluded whenever I'm in a room painted red. My favorite color is blue.

Gary said...

"subtly excluded"...Gee, that's the same way I feel when I'm in a room with university intellectuals.

chickelit said...

If I were an American studying at a Canadian university, I suppose the presence of a Maple leaf flag would make me feel excluded, especially if there were others expressing positive feelings about such a symbol.

What ever my feelings, I would still never see fit to try and banish such identify symbols. There is little net positive to doing so. It is not respectful of existing order and only serves a destructive purpose, to prepare the way for supplanting one symbol for another- whatever that may be, human nature being what it is.

This is just another battle in the war on Christmas.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

What is striking about this study is that the students only felt "subtly excluded."

They aren't "subtley excluded."

They're totally excluded. By their own choice.

Muslims do not worship Christ. If you don't want to feel subtly excluded from Christmas, then you probably shouldn't become a Muslim.

Similarly, if you want to visit Mecca, then you should probably not choose to be a Jew.

Because if you follow Judism you will feel subtly excluded if you try to go to Mecca.

Then you will feel your head being removed.

DaveW said...

I wonder if they feel subtly excluded when they go to St. Luke's hospital.

Quayle said...
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Quayle said...

I snagged some tough tickets to see my favorite team, but I was sitting in the other team's section.

I felt subtly excluded.

I should have a constitution right to make them stop cheering for the other team if I'm there.

vet66 said...

"exclusion" in this case is a self-imposed exile from a learning experience. Instead of feeling excluded as in "How does that make you feeeeel?" how about learning from the experience of inclusion into something important to someone else? I thought that was what schooling was all about.

There is much history to be learned in order to understand others. The tyranny of political correctness deprives the inquiring mind of independent thought moving straight to what someone else judges to be acceptable.

Feeling 'less included' is part of life. Get used to it and make friends with it because you are not the center of the universe in anyone's eyes but your own.

madAsHell said...

"a social psychologist" - someone who spent far too much time, and far too much money drinking the kool-aid.

Anybody that refers to themselves as a social psychologist is automatically discredited.

DADvocate said...

What a bunch or wusses. Are they studying to be psychologists or patients of psychologists? They need to go see this therapist.

Damn I'm tired of this world of f*cking cry babies and their enablers.

johnvert said...

A study on feeling's, really? No one cares but the morons wasting time on such a useless study, probably funded by taxpayer dollars.

AJ Lynch said...

All smart people know diversity is bad when it involves the majority, white Christian culture- what is wrong with you people!

Roux said...

I hope they feel left out.... you know that anytime they'd like they can join the party.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Political correctness has caused vast numbers of people to become hyper victims with skins thinner than a onion.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I never would have guessed that people who don't celebrate Christmas are so intolerant! Of course, I'd also probably feel left out if I were at a birthday party for someone I didn't know.

Quayle said...

I don't know a Christian worth their salt that wouldn't have loved to help the "excluded" become included and feel welcome.

Similar to what I say to my Jewish or Catholic friends, 'you can go into a Mormon temple, the same way I do.'

David said...

As a Christian, I too feel less self assured at Christmas. Should I have said "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" to that person? Are they insulted because I did it wrong? Are my gifts to my relatives going to suck again this year? Why can't I ever get Christmas (Holiday?) cards out? Where are the damn ornament hooks when you need them? Do I look stupid in this Santa hat? And last but not least, am I offending anyone with my tree (if I ever get the damn thing decorated?)

Christy said...

I can only weep with sorrow over how the recently inducted member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Neil Diamond, must have felt when he recorded those three, count 'em, three Christmas Albums. And Streisand did how many?

Michael said...

Bullshit.

dbp said...

Yes, far better to censor-away fundamental parts of our culture than to make a small minority feel "subtly excluded".

chickelit said...

Jason said:
Of course, I'd also probably feel left out if I were at a birthday party for someone I didn't know.

The Lincoln cent first appeared in 1909 to commemorate the centennial of Lincoln's log cabin birth. I wonder how many Southern Democrats felt excluded?

On the other hand, I hope to never see the likeness of our present POTUS gracing a coin, bill, or mountain- I would feel less included...

edutcher said...

Validation for the PC crowd.

Our side must be winning.

PS Notice they didn't link the survey.

MayBee said...

As I said at HotAir, the most Christmasy cities I've been in have been Hong Kong and Tokyo. They are Buddhist/Taoist/Shinto places, but they light up the town with lights and trees. They even say "Merry Christmas" outright.
So I'm not sure what this study says, but it says something about Americans more than non-Christians.

kent said...

"Simply having this 12-inch Christmas tree in the room with them made them feel less included in the university as a whole..."

Pussies.

Michael said...

"a social psychologist" Double bullshit.

PatCA said...

I think they should keep the offices open through Christmas...er, holiday break and allow them to work so they don't feel "excluded."

Deb said...

Baloney. How this topic gripes me. I don't celebrate Christmas and I am the only person in my office of maybe 50 people who does not. Do I feel excluded? I have to beg them NOT to include me. There is no group of people so welcoming as Christians at Christmas. If these folks feel excluded it's their own fault. Nobody is denying them any experience. Enjoy the party and the food. They're not asking you to convert for pete's sake. And if they do, be strong! Say no thanks, but I will have another piece of pumpkin pie. And if you are not comfortable around a 12 inch Christmas tree, get a grip. It actually IS Christmas. Expect celebrations!

Bender said...

"Reminders of Christmas can make religious minorities feel ill at ease"

Yeah, well if you put a black guy in a room full of racists, they are going to feel ill at ease too. Is that the black guy's fault?

Refraining from doing something because you don't want to offend the sensibilities of bigots is not the answer.

MayBee said...

Oh, sorry. More about Canadians than non-Christians.

shirley elizabeth said...

I attended the bat mitzvah of a young girl whose family I am very close to. At one point during the service, they carried around their scriptures and the members of the congregation sang of their love and devotion and were able to kiss the edge. Though it was not my tradition, I found it so beautiful and was grateful to witness it.

What is funny about a Christmas tree is that it has nothing to do with my religious celebration of the holiday. I get a Christmas tree to celebrate the secular side. The same as an Easter basket.

SteveR said...

Life's a bitch, pansies

Big Mike said...

Asinine. I'm an atheist and I put up a fammily Christmas tree myself. The "non-celebrators and non-Christians" need to learn to relax and get a life.

Or, applying Occam's razor, perhaps the researchers subtly influenced the results?

Clyde said...

I addressed this yesterday:

Synova:
"It is so depressing that they call it holiday rather than Christmas. That's public education for ya, always having to be PC."

A school in town has Holiday Trees for sale. I mean, really! Sure, there are Christmas Trees and maybe Pagan Trees, so why exclude the Pagans? But what other religion has trees for their holy-day?

Clyde:

@ Synova

I hear that the Jews have a Passover cedar...

Oops, that's seder. Not a tree. Never mind.

Oligonicella said...

Bullshit. I'd like to see the original questions.

To those getting carried away with downing the survey taker, he's Christian and celebrates Christmas. He's just carried away with the looking for 'subtle' subtexts. Like seeing sexual suppression in everything, he's really writing a paper on imaginary bullshit.

Note to every damned person conducting a study into the likes, dislikes, fears and loves of people: You cannot read minds. Any time you conjecture as to why someone did something or answered in a certain way, it's bullshit. This is especially true of the 'subtle' or 'nuanced'.

ricpic said...

Is the Christmas tree a religious symbol? I honestly don't know but I always thought of it as something people bring inside in the depths of winter as a morale booster: the evergreen-ness of it an assurance that life will make it through the seeming extinguishment. In other words the custom was incorporated into Christmas but most likely preceded it.

murgatroyd666 said...

I hear that the Jews have a Passover cedar...

I have several Jewish relatives. Each family puts up a "Hanukkah bush" in December.

Dark Eden said...

Man, this is such an overblown, guilt ridden self hating thing. Pagan here, not Christian. I love Christmas, and Christmas trees, Santa Claus and Rudolf are not in the bible or part of a religious tradition. Christmas as we know it is already pre-secularized for your protection but that's just not good enough for some people is it? I would feel worse if the 75% of people around me who are Christians bent over backwards so as not to offend me. Liberals offend me way more than Christians and I don't see them being delicate about shoving their BS down my throat because of it.

Big Mike said...

@Oligonicella, I did say "perhaps." Plus I think you are sort of agreeing with me that it's not entirely beyond belief that the researcher found precisely what he was looking for.

LL said...

Who would have thought that a 12-inch Christmas tree would be kryptonite for atheists?

EDH said...

When people who did not celebrate Christmas or who did not identify as Christian filled out surveys about their moods while in the same room as a small Christmas tree, they reported less self-assurance and fewer positive feelings than if they hadn't been reminded of the holiday, according to a new study.

The university students didn't know the study was about Christmas, said study researcher Michael Schmitt, a social psychologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.


Hmm, sounds like this study could have doubled as that test for Alzheimer's.

traditionalguy said...

It is the Theocracy blob, and it's coming after you.

PatCA said...

As usual, you will note that the newspaper does not relate that one really important section of the study called "limitations of the study," in this case, probably "all participants were liberal PC employees of liberal PC university."

Gene said...

Christmas trees only offend people who deep down don't like Christians anyway.

ET1492 said...

All subjects noticed the tree. A set of them of them guessed that certain questions were related to the tree. Some subjects within that set weren't affected by the presence of the tree, but answered as if they were in an attempt to skew the results.

jimbino said...

I don't know about a small Christmas tree, but one small swastika or crucifix over my hospital room door will make me go berserk.

jimbino said...

I don't know about a small Christmas tree, but one small swastika or crucifix over my hospital room door will make me go berserk.

Gene said...

jimbino, that's why they give you a room with padded walls.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh no! I gave my husband a Hanukkah card for our anniversary. "Lox of love." Little did I know that we were both feeling subtly excluded and less positive by it.

In fact, it certainly seemed that we were quite inclusive and positive on that day.

How insidious.

Freeman Hunt said...

My atheist mother had three full size Christmas trees last year. She must have had them to smooth manic happiness into the regular, healthy happiness she exhibited.

Oligonicella said...

@Big Mike, yes we agree somewhat. I just don't think the researcher (bad word in this context) was 'looking' so much as it's a natural outcome of constantly searching for those nuanced and subliminal meanings that really only occur in the lookers mind.

Social Sciences ain't.

wv: socal - as close as they come to being science.

Oligonicella said...

Oh, Big Mike. That bullshit wasn't directed at you, it was a statement of my assessment of the 'research'.

wv: shtio - another assessment.

Synova said...

They should do it again with a fetus in a jar in the room. One of my biology labs had a wall of them. It made me uncomfortable (as human remains on display tend to do) so I sat where I didn't have to face them, that's all. I figured that it was *my* problem.

This is another case where college students should be told to grow up a little bit and stop being so freaking fragile.

Tolerance and diversity are the polar opposite of removing anything that might require tolerance by making obvious that other people aren't like you.

Do it again with a poster of two men embracing in the room and then see who thinks it ought to be removed because some students feel "subtly excluded."

Idiots.

lucid said...
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lucid said...

Uhhhhh...so what? This means we shouldn't have Christmas trees in public places?

There are a million little things that shift one's mental and social state every second one is conscious.

I once heard someone talking about how proud he was to be driving his new Alfa Romeo convertible until a Ferrari pulled into the next parking space.

These minor little changes in how we feel are just a normal part of social life--not a separation of church and state issue.

Juba Doobai! said...

So what? If I go to a Lutheran or RC church, I feel excluded at communion time. So what? When I go to the synagogue, I feel excluded when certain things are talked about cuz I'm not Jewish. So what? Hell, if I were a woman and went to a mosque I'd feel excluded even IF I were Muslim just cuz I'm a gal. Who cares?!

Who says we have to be included in everything? Why is modern man so petty and so empty that he must feel a part of every little thing lest be think of himself as nothing?

People are such blitherin' self-centered idiots today. Why can't we feel joy for other people's celebrations without wanting to be part of it? Jeez! Modern man sucks!

Juba Doobai! said...

As a Christian, I feel excluded every time I hear 'Frosty the Snowman' or 'White Christmas' cuz I know that that's the secular offering of a Jewish guy (Irving Berlin) who was being forced to be included by writing songs expressing ideas he didn't believe in. So, Berlin wound up taking the Jew out of Christmas, and when there's no Jew in Christmas it ain't Christ's Mass. So, as a believer in the Jew, I feel excluded.

g2loq said...
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g2loq said...

I have been excluding quite a lot lately ...
I do the slow fade ...

FormerTucsonan said...

Of course they feel excluded! They know that if they enjoy Christmas, even a little bit, their leftie friends at the food co-op will shun them with a vehemence that would give the Amish pause!

Gene said...

People who go around feeing "subtly excluded" have obviously never gone to high school.

rcocean said...

I once went to friend's Bar Mitzvahs and felt subtly excluded. I cried for weeks.

But I got even - I let him see our Christmas tree.

rcocean said...

And when did a Tree become a Christian religious symbol?

And here I thought Santa Claus was the real religious symbol of Christmas - or was that Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer?

traditionalguy said...

The real atrocity against atheists are public fish tanks. Everybody knows that the fish is the Christians biggest symbol of them all. And I cannot remember why, other than St. Peter liking to catch fish a lot.

JAL said...

Life isn't fair, is it.

Everyone knows that to be a whole healthy adult human one must never feel excluded.

And when did this happen? Sometime after Al told Tipper that love never means saying you're sorry, we upped the ante and now one must never feel excluded.

Are we a bunch of wusses, or what?

Suburbanbanshee said...

Re: trees as religious symbols

Just saw one that was new to me. Apparently some Japanese chop bamboo branches (often tree-sized), and put them up in their houses or yards for Tanabata, in the summer. They often decorate them with poems, paper chains ala Christmas, or symbols of love (including Valentines), because it celebrates the tragically separated stars of the Cowherd and Weaver Maid.

Bartender Cabbie said...

ha ha