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IntroductionResults The relationship between religion, prejudice and prosocial behavior is complex. Past research from our lab demonstrated that believers,

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Presentation on theme: "IntroductionResults The relationship between religion, prejudice and prosocial behavior is complex. Past research from our lab demonstrated that believers,"— Presentation transcript:

1 IntroductionResults The relationship between religion, prejudice and prosocial behavior is complex. Past research from our lab demonstrated that believers, compared to non-believers, evidenced higher prejudice toward Blacks, Muslims, gay and lesbian individuals, and women who have had an abortion. However, with the exception of the abortion rights group, we did not find significant differences between believers and non-believers on a self-report measure of helping attitudes toward the various social groups. (Butcher, DeLaPena, Selvanathan, & Goodman, 2013). In the present study, we aim to extend our consideration of the relationship between religion, prejudice and prosocial behavior, by tapping into unconscious or uncontrolled processes. Religious primes may increase prosociality for both believers and non-believers (e.g., Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007). However, the prosocial option we employed in the present study involves donating money to a minority group charitable organization that believers tend to evince higher prejudice toward than non- believers (e.g., Leak & Finken, 2011; Butcher et al., 2013). We hypothesize that priming religious concepts will result in higher rates of donation to the minority organization among non- believers, but lower levels of donation among believers. We predict that priming with secular concepts, compared to control concepts, will result in higher rates of donation among both believers and non-believers. Regardless of priming, we also anticipate non-believers to donate more than believers. Additionally, we will evaluate religious orientation and empathy as potential correlates. Independent and Quasi-Independent Variables Primes: Sentence-unscrambling task (10 items; Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007) Religious (e.g., felt she eradicate spirit the → she felt the spirit) Secular (e.g., it’s duty your civic evil → it’s your civic duty) Control (e.g., shoes give replace old the → replace the old shoes) Believer/Non-Believer: (2 items, e.g., I am a believer in God; single-item religious affiliation) Primary Dependent Variable Donation: Amount of lab $ participants chose to donate to the LGBTQ Resource Center (out of $100) Correlates Intrinsic religiosity: Extent to which individual internalizes religion (10 items, e.g., My faith involves all of my life) Quest religiosity: Extent to which individual views religion as a life-long journey (16 items, e.g., Religious doubts allow us to grow) Religious fundamentalism: Extent to which individual believes in one and only one true religion (20 items, e.g., To lead the best, most meaningful life, one must belong to one, true religion) Empathy: Ability to empathize with others (32 items, e.g., I find it easy to put myself in somebody else’s shoes) Conclusion We thank UWEC’s Learning & Technology Services for printing this poster. Many thanks to UWEC’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for support of this project. Donation Amount as a Function of Priming and Belief Participants N = 59 UWEC students (86.4% Female; 91.5% Caucasian; mean age = 19.83; 81.4% Believers) Procedure Participants signed-up for the study through the SONA system, and arrived to the lab at a timeslot during which they were scheduled. Participants completed a word-scrambling task, in which they were randomly assigned to either religious, secular or control primes (Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007). Participants were awarded 100 “lab dollars” for their performance. Participants are told that the lab dollars can be used to purchase snacks at the end of the study, and are also given the option to donate any or all of their lab dollars to the “charitable partner organization of the week” (10 lab $ = 1 actual $), which is an LGBTQ Resource Center. Next, participants completed measures of religious orientation, belief in God, religious affiliation, and empathy, as well as non- identifying demographic information. Participants were permitted to exchange any remaining lab dollars for snacks before they were debriefed, thanked and dismissed. Methods Correlations with Donation Amount IntrinsicFundamentalistQuestEmpathyDonation $ Intrinsic1 Fundamentalist.722 ** 1 Quest-.788 ** ** 1 Empathy Donation $-.277 * *.296 *.0241 Note: *p <.05; **p <.01 ANOVA Analysis Testing Primary Predictions A 3 (Priming: Religious vs. Secular vs. Control) × 2 (Religious Belief: Believer vs. Non-believer) was conducted with donation amount as the dependent variable. The hypothesized interaction between priming and religious belief was not significant, F(2, 53).1 The main effect of priming was not significant, F (2, 53).1. However, the hypothesized main effect of Religious Belief was significant, F(1,53) = 4.15, p <.05. Non-believers donated significantly more than believers. Correlations Correlational analyses revealed several significant associations among donation amount and other variables. As would be expected, intrinsic and fundamentalist religiosity were positively correlated with one another, and were both negatively correlated with quest religiosity. Intrinsic and fundamentalist religiosity were both negatively correlated with donation amount. Quest religiosity was positively correlated with donation amount. Empathy scores were unrelated to any other variables. We did not find evidence of priming effects in the current study. Religious, secular, and control priming did not differentially affect participants’ donations. However, non-believers donated significantly more of their lab dollars than believers, irrespective of priming condition. These findings are in line with those of our previous research suggesting that non-believers have lower levels of prejudice toward a number of social groups. The present findings provide more direct behavioral evidence of non-believers’ prosociality (or perhaps believers’ discrimination). A major limitation of the current reported results is that our number of participants is about half of our desired sample size. In particular, there are very few non-believers in any given priming condition; this resulted in low power for detecting interaction effects or exploring mediators such as religious orientation. We intend to continue data collection.


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