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

  • 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)

Registered author(s):

    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
    Download Restriction: no

    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
    Contact details of provider: 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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    1. 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," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Ahmed, Ali M., 2007. "Group identity, social distance and intergroup bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-337, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Henry Kaiser, 1974. "An index of factorial simplicity," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 31-36, March.
    5. Bradley Ruffle & Richard Sosis, 2006. "Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on israeli kibbutz members and city residents," Artefactual Field Experiments 00104, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. 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.
    7. Henry Kaiser, 1958. "The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 187-200, September.
    8. Henry Kaiser, 1970. "A second generation little jiffy," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 401-415, December.
    9. Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2006. "Religion and social preferences: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 60-67, January.
    10. 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.
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