Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of God concept priming on self-accessibility, self-avoidance behaviors, and religious prosociality
by Lin, Patrick K. F., Ph.D., National University of Singapore (Singapore), 2015, 160; 10005999
Abstract (Summary)

God has a prominent presence in human societies. However, as noted by scholars, there are more philosophical writings, religious doctrines, and anecdotal accounts than empirical data. Over the past 25 years, even though some studies have repeatedly shown that priming God concepts could influence our psychological processes, two issues remain unclear in the God priming research. One, could activation of God concepts influence the self at the upstream construal and the downstream behavioral levels? Two, does religiosity moderate the impact of God concept priming on different prosocial responses? To address these issues, three series of studies were conducted in this dissertation. In Series 1, God believers were first primed with either God or non-God concepts then asked to access their self-information in a reaction time task. Results showed that activation of God concepts decreased implicit selfaccessibility. In Series 2, God believers who were exposed to God concepts avoided seeing themselves in a mirror and wrote less self-related statements. Series 3 found that the effect of God priming on four different prosocial responses (i.e., intentions to volunteer, to donate organs, to protect their in-group aggressively, and actual behavioral tolerance for pain for the sake of charity) was moderated by individual’s belief in God. Specifically, participants who professed to believe in God showed higher prosocial responses when exposed to the God prime as compared to the non-God prime. However, this effect was not found among participants who professed to be non-believers. Theoretical implications on how the self and prosocial behaviors are influenced when God concepts are activated are also discussed in the dissertation.

Indexing (document details)
School: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Department: Psychology
School Location: Republic of Singapore
Source: DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Personality psychology
Publication Number: 10005999
ISBN: 978-1-339-43869-6
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