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In the back of your mind: Subliminal influences of religious concepts on prosocial behavior

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Author Info

  • Ahmed, Ali M.

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Salas, Osvaldo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

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    Abstract

    Does religion enhance prosocial behavior? We investigate the ways in which implicit influences of religious concepts affect generosity and cooperation. In contrast to previous studies, we assess the direct impact of religion as an independent variable on prosocial behavior. We do so by subliminally priming participants with religious concepts in a scrambled sentence task before they play a dictator game and a prisoner’s dilemma game. We found that implicit priming of religious concepts significantly increased prosocial behavior in both games. This result was present among both religious and nonreligious participants. Selfreported measure of religiosity was related neither to generosity nor to cooperation.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/18838
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 331.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: 08 Dec 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0331

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    Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
    Phone: 031-773 10 00
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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    Keywords: religion; priming; dictator game; prisoner’s dilemma game;

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    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
    2. Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard H. Sosis, 2003. "Cooperation and the In-Group-Out-Group Bias: A Field Test on Israeli Kibbutz Members and City Residents," Experimental 0310002, EconWPA.
    3. Ahmed, Ali M., 2007. "Group identity, social distance and intergroup bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-337, June.
    4. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
    5. Henry Kaiser, 1958. "The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 187-200, September.
    6. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2004. "Giving to Secular Causes by the Religious and Nonreligious: An Experimental Test of the Responsiveness of Giving to Subsidies," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Minhaj Mahmud & Peter Martinsson, 2009. "Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 462-485, 07.
    8. Li, Baibing & Martin, Elaine B. & Morris, A. Julian, 2002. "On principal component analysis in L1," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 471-474, September.
    9. Henry Kaiser, 1970. "A second generation little jiffy," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 401-415, December.
    10. Henry Kaiser, 1974. "An index of factorial simplicity," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 31-36, March.
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    1. The Adam Smith Institute, Business Ethics, and the Ayn Rand Lecture
      by andrewdsmith in The Past Speaks on 2012-06-23 20:01:30

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