Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2123243
 
 

References (72)



 


 



Religious Motivations for Cooperation: An Experimental Investigation Using Explicit Primes


David G. Rand


Yale University

Anna Dreber


Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Omar S. Haque


Harvard University

Rob Kane


Harvard University

Martin A. Nowak


Harvard University

Sarah Coakley


Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Jan 28, 2013

Religion, Brain and Behavior, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
The role of religion in human cooperation remains a highly contested topic. Recent studies using economic game experiments to explore this issue have been largely inconclusive, yielding a range of conflicting results. In this study, we investigate the ability of religion to promote cooperation using explicit theological primes. In a first study conducted in a church, we find that subjects who report a stronger connection with a Christian religious passage about charitable giving subsequently are more likely to cooperate in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma game. In a second study conducted over the Internet, we find that Christian subjects are more likely to cooperate after reading a particular Christian religious passage compared to a neutral passage, but that the particular Hindu and secular passages have no significant effect on Christians, and that none of the passages (Christian, Hindu or Secular) have an effect among non-Christians. Our results show the potential power of explicit religious exhortations for promoting cooperation, and also their selectivity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: prosociality, prisoner’s dilemma, religiosity, theological priming

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: August 5, 2012 ; Last revised: February 6, 2013

Suggested Citation

Rand, David G. and Dreber, Anna and Haque, Omar S. and Kane, Rob and Nowak, Martin A. and Coakley, Sarah, Religious Motivations for Cooperation: An Experimental Investigation Using Explicit Primes (Jan 28, 2013). Religion, Brain and Behavior, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2123243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2123243

Contact Information

David G. Rand (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.DaveRand.org
Anna Dreber
Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )
P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
Omar S. Haque
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Rob Kane
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Martin A. Nowak
Harvard University
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Sarah Coakley
Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge ( email )
King's Parade
Cambridge, CB3 0DS
United Kingdom
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 910
Downloads: 209
Download Rank: 82,990
References:  72
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.391 seconds