Does Religion Increase Moral Behavior?

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DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.07.009
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Preprint of:
Shariff, A.F. (2015). Does Religion Increase Moral Behavior? Current Opinion in Psychology, 6, 108-113.
Highlights%
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Harm/Care
Justice/Fairness
Authority/Respect
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Purity/Disgust
Religious Attendance
Endorsement as moral foundation
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*220.G*.:0!*.G!+084+21!4,!8+414:$*;!O0)*/$4+!%*3!1$%8;3!O0!G$12$.6A$1)$.6!2)410!
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G$%0.1$4.1'!!!!
!
Prosocial%behavior%may%derive%from%the%religious%situation,%not%the%religious%
disposition%%
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8A.$1)!$%%4+*;!O0)*/$4+'!9048;0[1!:4%8;$*.:0!L$2)!8+414:$*;!.4+%1!:*.!O0!)$6);3!
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)*/0!G+*%*2$:*;;3!$.:+0*10G!8+414:$*;$23!L$2)$.!6+4A81!\`D]'!R)0!8+0G$:2$4.!$1!
1A884+20G!O3!,$.G$.61!2)*2!+0;$6$4A1!8+$%$.6!$.:+0*101!,00;$.6!4,!1A+/0$;;*.:0!\`_]!*1!
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V&$6A+0!>W'!a42*O;3<!%4G0+*2$4.!*.*;3101!+0/0*;!2)*2!L)0+0*1!h4G!8+$%01!+0;$*O;3!
$.:+0*10!2)010!4A2:4%01!*%4.6!+0;$6$4A1!O0;$0/0+1<!2)0+0!$1!.4!0,,0:2!,4+!.4.N
O0;$0/0+1'!e.!42)0+!L4+G1<!2)0!8+$%$.6!0,,0:21!4.!8+414:$*;$23!*+0!2)0!8+4GA:2!4,!2)0!
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!
Humans%first,%believers%second%
&A+2)0+%4+0<!2)*2!+0;$6$4A1!8*+2$:$8*.21!4.;3!100!*!8+414:$*;!*G/*.2*60!$.!;*O!
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$.G$:*201!2)*2!2)0!+0;$6$4A1!G4!.42!0U$12!$.!*!12*20!4,!O0$.6!80+802A*;;3!8+$%0G'!R)0!
+0;$6$4A1!8+$%$.6!0,,0:2!$1!08)0%0+*;'!!!
R)010!O4A.G*+3!:4.G$2$4.1!*+0!.0*2;3!G$18;*30G!$.!J*;)42+*[1!\D=]!+010*+:)!
4.!:)*+$23!*.G!m2)0!(A.G*3!@,,0:2'n!9+$4+!+010*+:)!)*G!1)4L.!;011!84+.46+*8)$:!
L0O1$20!2+*,,$:!$.!%4+0!+0;$6$4A1!"%0+$:*.!%02+484;$2*.!*+0*1<!OA2!4.;3!4.!(A.G*31!
RE Model
1.00 0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
Observed Outcome
Purzycki et al. (unpublished)
Hurst (unpublished)
Gervais & Norenzayan (unpublished)
Duhaime (unpublished thesis) study 1
Cohen, Mundry, & Kirschner (2014)
Aveyard (2014) Study 2
Aveyard (2014) Study 1
Sasaki et al. (2013)
Rand et al. (2013) Study 2
Ahmed & Salas (2013)
Xygalatas (2012)
Hadnes & Schmacher (2012)
McKay et al. (2011)
Horton et al. (2011)
Ahmed & Salas (2011) Study 1
Ahmed & Hammarstedt (2011)
Benjamin, Choi & Fisher (2010) Study 1B
Benjamin, Choi & Fisher (2010) Study 1A
Pichon & Saroglou (2009)
Carpenter & Marshall (2009)
Shariff & Norenzayan (2007) Study 2
Shariff & Norenzayan (2007) Study 1
RandolphSeng & Nielsen (2007) Study 1
Pichon, Boccato & Saroglou (2007) Study 2
Pichon, Boccato & Saroglou (2007) Study 1
Exp
Imp
Imp
Con
Exp
Con
Imp
Imp
Exp
Con
Con
Exp
Sub
Exp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Con
Exp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Sub
0.35 [ 0.63 , 0.07 ]
0.31 [ 0.05 , 0.68 ]
0.26 [ 0.98 , 0.46 ]
0.34 [ 0.10 , 0.77 ]
0.65 [ 0.05 , 1.34 ]
0.53 [ 0.05 , 1.01 ]
0.21 [ 0.82 , 0.41 ]
0.22 [ 0.08 , 0.52 ]
0.10 [ 0.09 , 0.28 ]
0.67 [ 0.33 , 1.00 ]
0.98 [ 0.45 , 1.51 ]
0.35 [ 0.05 , 0.64 ]
0.01 [ 0.23 , 0.22 ]
0.11 [ 0.18 , 0.40 ]
0.44 [ 0.17 , 0.71 ]
0.48 [ 0.07 , 0.89 ]
0.06 [ 0.22 , 0.11 ]
0.11 [ 0.06 , 0.28 ]
0.04 [ 0.25 , 0.33 ]
0.16 [ 0.17 , 0.49 ]
0.69 [ 0.12 , 1.26 ]
1.03 [ 0.44 , 1.62 ]
0.52 [ 0.08 , 1.12 ]
0.40 [ 0.13 , 0.93 ]
0.51 [ 0.08 , 0.94 ]
0.27 [ 0.14 , 0.39 ]
Study Prime Effect Size
\D>]'!H3842)01$#$.6!2)*2!(A.G*3!%*3!10+/0!*1!*!.*2A+*;$12$:!+0;$6$4A1!8+$%0!,4+!
Y)+$12$*.1<!J*;)42+*!$./012$6*20G!8*220+.1!4,!O$GG$.6!$.!4.;$.0!:)*+$2*O;0!*A:2$4.1!
2)+4A6)4A2!2)0!L00T'!e.!2)010!*A:2$4.1<!8420.2$*;!G4.*24+1!%A12!:4%8020!24!O0!2)0!
)$6)012!O$GG0+!$.!4+G0+!24!G4.*20<!*.G!2)03!+0:0$/0!0%*$;!*;0+21!L)0.!2)03!)*/0!
O00.!4A2O$G<!$./$2$.6!2)0%!24!1AO%$2!*!)$6)0+!8;0G60'!J*;)42+*!,4A.G!2)*2!L)0.!
1A:)!0%*$;1!L0+0!10.2!4.!(A.G*31<!*!%A:)!)$6)0+!8+484+2$4.!4,!+0;$6$4A1!2)*.!.4.N
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!
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+0*14.$.6!24!G020+%$.0!%4+*;!80+%$11$O$;$23'!R)$1!+01$12*.:0!%0G$*201!2)0!
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thinking.!E5,'9+!")(1+2*]!>E=_<!fVdWId`CNdd='!
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Acknowledgments%
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  • ... Metaanalizy ujawniły natomiast pozytywny związek religijności z pożądanym odbiorem społecznym, a w szczególności z zarządzaniem własnym wizerunkiem (impression management). (Shariff, 2015). Cytowani przez Shariffa Sedikides i Gebauer sugerują nawet odwrócenie związku przyczynowo skutkowego: to chęć wzmacniania samooceny nasila religijność. ...
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    Przedmiotem badania jest wpływ primingu religijnego wśród uczestników badania deklarujących się jako osoby wierzące na ekspansywność moralną, czyli zakres moralnej troski oraz postrzeganej przez nich odpowiedzialności za byty należące do 10 kategorii obejmujących zarówno osoby, zwierzęta, rośliny jak i elementy środowiska, na prawicowy autorytaryzm oraz na wiarę w grę o sumie zerowej . Główne pytanie badawcze dotyczyło siły oddziaływania primingu religijności na zakres indywidualnego ‘świata moralnego’ czyli na ekspansywność moralną. Drugim obszarem poddanym analizie była korelacja pomiędzy ekspansywnością moralną, a prawicowym autorytaryzmem i wiarą w życie jako grę o sumie zerowej. (N = 83) Osoby badane były losowo kierowane do dwóch grup badawczych: z primingiem religijnym i bez primingu. Religijny priming stanowił kwestionariusz orientacji religijnej utworzony na bazie Skali Orientacji Religijnej (Religious Orientations Scale). W wyniku analizy uzyskanych danych nie stwierdzono istotnego statystycznie wpływu primingu na ekspansywność moralną. W wyniku przeprowadzenia dodatkowych analiz wykazano jednak, że priming religijny jest moderatorem relacji między prawicowym autorytaryzmem, a moralną troską w grupie o wysokim poziomie religijności wewnętrznej. Oznacza to, że u osób charakteryzujących się wysokim poziomem religijności wewnętrznej aktywizacja religijna wpływała dodatnio na związek między prawicowym autorytaryzmem, a moralną troską czyli im wyższy był poziom prawicowego autorytaryzmu tym wyższy obserwowano poziom moralnej troski pod wpływem primingu. Priming wpływa więc na korelację pomiędzy tymi dwoma konstruktami, ale nie wpływa bezpośrednio na poziom moralnej troski.
  • ... For this reason, researchers have long been interested in the association between individual religiosity and willingness to benefit others. The empirical evidence in this respect shows that, although not unconstrained, the phenomenon of religious prosociality does exist (Shariff, 2015). The question remains, however, what specific mechanisms underlie the influence of religion on prosocial behavior. ...
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    Several empirical investigations have demonstrated a positive association between religiosity and emotional empathy. However, most of these studies relied on self-report measures, and therefore were criticized for reflecting a self-delusion of believers rather than the actual relationship between the two constructs. The current research addressed this methodological limitation by conducting a simultaneous examination of both self- and other-reports on empathy and religiousness. We recruited 236 adult participants and 223 of their close acquaintances (e.g., partners, close friends, or parents). It was found that more religious individuals reported higher emotional empathy and were also perceived as more empathic by others. This effect was observed specifically for other-oriented feelings of compassion and sympathy and remained significant controlling for gender, age, and social desirability. The study contributes to the knowledge on social correlates of religiousness by demonstrating that its relationship with empathy is not spurious but possibly reflects a true phenomenon that can be observed by both participants themselves and by other people.
  • ... This approach allowed us to examine the motivational meaning of this value, according to its relations to other values. It is common practice in the values literature to draw on the associations between values to reveal common motivational goals (Schwartz, 1992(Schwartz, , 2007.Thus, we deliberately chose not to specify the exact meaning of morality, as has been done in many studies in the field of moral psychology (e.g., Aquino & Kay, 2018;Shariff, 2015;Young & Durwin, 2013), nor did we directly ask people to report what they considered to be part of the moral domain (Graham et al., 2011). We suggest that the value of being moral is loaded with different motivational meanings that vary as a function of religiosity. ...
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    We demonstrate how religiosity predicts relationships between personal values and perceptions of morality in four studies across two cultures (Jews in Israel and mainly Christians in the US). In Studies 1A (N=337) and 1B (N=200), we explored the commonalities and differences of religious and non‐religious participants in the association between values and the importance of being moral. In Studies 2A (N=131) and 2B (N=250), we tested the role of religiosity in the association between values and evaluations of others' morality. Power (negatively) and Benevolence (positively) were associated with morality across levels of religiosity. The associations with Conservation were more positive for more religious participants; the associations with Universalism were more positive for less religious participants. Finally, the associations with at least one of the Openness‐to‐change values were more negative if a person was more religious. Studies 2A and 2B showed these associations existed over and above differences in personal values.
  • ... En effet, si le fait religieux correspond à une extériorisation de la religiosité de l'individu, alors tout comportement au travail trouvant sa source dans la religiosité du salarié pourrait être qualifié comme tel. Or la littérature a pu reliée la religiosité et les comportements éthiques au travail (Shariff, 2015). En ce sens la traduction de l'éthique de l'individuà travers son comportement -lorsqu'elle est dictée par sa religiosité pourrait correspondre à un type de fait religieux…qu'il conviendrait également d'inclure dans la typologie d 'Honoré (2018). ...
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    This article proposes a critical synthesis of the work concerning the religious fact at work and its management in French research. The literature is scarce and researchers working on the issue still few. Gomez proposed in 2012 six tracks for a research program linking religion and business. However, this field of research seems still in development and some aspects seem to be ignored by the research or not sufficiently explored. Following an inventory of the various publications in management sciences relating to the religious phenomenon at work, we propose research topics related in particular to the quality of life at work, the commitment or the professional mobility in the private sector as well as the demonstration of the relevance of research work in the public sector, the majority of the published work being devoted to the private sector. The interest of a particular work on the origin of the managerial dysfunctions related to the religious fact will be also demonstrated. MOTS-CLÉS Fait religieux au travail-Gestion-Entreprise-Littérature-Méta-analyse KEY WORDS : Spirituality and religion at work-Management-Enterprise-Literature-Meta analysis 2
  • ... 1 Reminding believers about a punishing God ("priming") does improve their moral behavior but only fleetingly and usually towards coreligionists only -the effect is real but "parochial, bounded, transient, situationally constrained, and often overstated" ( Shariff 2016a ). Without priming, there is "no difference in the behavior of the religious versus the non-religious." 2 Even an article challenging the interpretation of the data collected in this study concludes that "highly religious households do appear slightly less generous than those from moderately religious ones" ( Shariff et al. 2016 ). 3 Some of the more traditional branches of Protestantism (e.g., Anglican, Episcopal, Presbyterian) and non-Christian religions (e.g., Jewish, Buddhist) in the U.S. have a higher percentage of college graduates as a group than do atheists and agnostics (PEW 2016). ...
  • ... When religious people dedicates to a certain moral regulations and standard, it will bring about a positive habits including in periods of health. 8 The healing power of the Quran deals with mental and physical health. As, Mohammad prophet introduced Quran as God's words and Islam miracle. ...
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    The relationship between religion and morality has long been hotly debated. Does religion make us more moral? Is it necessary for morality? Do moral inclinations emerge independently of religious intuitions? These debates, which nowadays rumble on in scientific journals as well as in public life, have frequently been marred by a series of conceptual confusions and limitations. Many scientific investigations have failed to decompose "religion" and "morality" into theoretically grounded elements; have adopted parochial conceptions of key concepts-in particular, sanitized conceptions of "prosocial" behavior; and have neglected to consider the complex interplay between cognition and culture. We argue that to make progress, the categories "religion" and "morality" must be fractionated into a set of biologically and psychologically cogent traits, revealing the cognitive foundations that shape and constrain relevant cultural variants. We adopt this fractionating strategy, setting out an encompassing evolutionary framework within which to situate and evaluate relevant evidence. Our goals are twofold: to produce a detailed picture of the current state of the field, and to provide a road map for future research on the relationship between religion and morality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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    Three studies demonstrated that the moral judgments of religious individuals and political conservatives are highly insensitive to consequentialist (i.e., outcome-based) considerations. In Study 1, both religiosity and political conservatism predicted a resistance toward consequentialist thinking concerning a range of transgressive acts, independent of other relevant dispositional factors (e.g., disgust sensitivity). Study 2 ruled out differences in welfare sensitivity as an explanation for these findings. In Study 3, religiosity and political conservatism predicted a commitment to judging “harmless” taboo violations morally impermissible, rather than discretionary, despite the lack of negative consequences rising from the act. Furthermore, non-consequentialist thinking style was shown to mediate the relationship religiosity/conservatism had with impermissibility judgments, while intuitive thinking style did not. These data provide further evidence for the influence of religious and political commitments in motivating divergent moral judgments, while highlighting a new dispositional factor, non-consequentialist thinking style, as a mediator of these effects.
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    We present a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial religion s, and address two puzzles in human psychology and cultural history: 1) the rise of large-scale cooperation and 2) the simultaneous spread of prosocial religions in the last ten-to-twelve millennia. We argue that these two developments were importantly linked and mutually energizing. We explain how a package of religious beliefs and practices characterized by potent, moralizing supernatural agents, credible displays of faith, and other psychologically active elements conducive to social solidarity selectively spread because they promoted cooperation in increasingly large groups.
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    Recent research has shown that religious individuals are much more resistant to utilitarian modes of thinking than their less religious counterparts, but the reason for this is not clear. We propose that a meta-ethical belief that morality is rooted in inviolable divine commands (i.e., endorsement of Divine Command Theory) may help explain this finding. We present a novel 20-item scale measuring a belief that morality is founded on divine authority. The scale shows good internal reliability and convergent and discriminant validity. Study 1 found that this scale fully mediated the relationship that various religiosity measures had with a deontological thinking style in our sample of American adults. It also accounted for the link between religiosity and social conservative values. Furthermore, the relationship between the scale and these outcome variables held after statistically controlling for variables related to actively open-minded thinking and the Big Five. Study 2 replicated the results using naturalistic moral dilemmas that placed deontological and utilitarian concerns in conflict, and showed that the results of Study 1 cannot be explained by differences in moral foundations (e.g., concern for authority more generally) or differences in the perceived function of rules. Quite the contrary, endorsement of the divine origins of morality fully mediated the relationship religiosity had with the so-called "binding" foundations (i.e., Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity). Our findings highlight the importance of meta-ethical beliefs for understanding individual differences in moral judgment.
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    Religions have come to be intimately tied to morality, and much recent research has shown that theists and non-theists differ in their moral behavior and decision-making along several dimensions. Here we discuss how these empirical trends can be explained by fundamental differences in group commitment, motivations for prosociality, cognitive styles, and meta-ethics. We conclude by elucidating key areas of moral congruence.