Better understanding the paradoxical relationship between religiosity and prejudice through priming religious concepts : an intergroup bias perspective.
Across two experiments, the paradox of religiosity and prejudice was examined through priming methods in a laboratory setting. The effects of priming religiosity (religious, control) and religious group membership (Christian, Muslim, atheist) on resource distributions (Experiment 1) and physical aggression through hot sauce allocation (Experiment 2) were examined. Across both studies, individuals demonstrated intergroup bias toward atheists relative to Muslims and Christians. In Experiment 1, priming religiosity decreased the number of raffle tickets given to atheists but increased the number of raffle tickets given to Muslims. In Experiment 2, priming religiosity had no effect on aggression toward individuals. However, individuals gave atheists significantly more hot sauce than Muslims.
These results indicate the effects of priming religiosity do depend, in some cases, on the religious group identification of the person with whom one is interacting. Moreover, these studies demonstrate atheists as the out-group (compared to Muslims) that experiences the most intergroup bias. Namely, individuals gave fewer resources, and aggressed and reported the most negative and least positive emotions toward atheists. Results are discussed within an intergroup bias framework.