Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Unpacking Religious Prosociality: Personality Ratings are Influenced by Religious Stereotype and Group Identity Bias

Department

Psychology Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

A religious prosociality stereotype exists such that religiosity and prosociality are presumed to be positively associated. However, studies using self- and peer-ratings of agreeableness and conscientiousness have not simultaneously controlled for the religiosity of the participant and the target. One-hundred sixty students completed measures of religiosity in a prescreening survey. Later, participants rated an array of targets (Christian vs. atheist) on adjectives corresponding to agreeableness and conscientiousness. Regardless of participants level of religiosity, atheist targets were rated as being lower in agreeableness and conscientiousness relative to those labeled as Christians. This bias was greater for highly religious participants. This effect is mediated by perceptions of morality for the nonreligious independent of participants attitudes broader attitudes concerning the targets religious group. Implications are discussed.

Conference Name

The 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Conference Location

Austin, TX

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