Religiosity and helping : do religious individuals volunteer more help to religious organizations than non-religious organizations?
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Johnson, Megan K.
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The effects of religiosity on prosocial behavior have been examined in a variety of ways. For example, many researchers correlate self-reported religiosity and self-reported helpfulness. Alternatively, researchers examine the interaction between self-reported religiosity and social or time pressure on help offered. In the present study, the effects of self-reported religiosity and type of organization (religious vs. non-religious) on the number of hours offered to volunteer were examined. Individuals high in general religiosity offered significantly less help to both organizations than individuals low in general religiosity. This main effect remained when controlling for trait empathy. Individuals high in intrinsic religiosity also offered significantly less help to both organizations than individuals low in intrinsic religiosity, but only when trait empathy was statistically controlled. The results are discussed in light of an evolutionary model of religion and the benefits that prosocial behavior can provide for religious in-group members.
DepartmentPsychology and Neuroscience.
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