Perceptions of moralizing agents and cooperative behavior in Northeastern Brazil

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SOLER Montserrat PURZYCKI Benjamin LANG Martin

Rok publikování 2022
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Religion, Brain & Behavior
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Klíčová slova Brazil; Candomblé; dictator game; economic games; moralizing gods; prosocial behavior; secular authority
Popis Evolutionary theories suggest that gods of world religions are associated with moralizing qualities and impartial behavior toward co-religionists, and that secular authorities approximate this effect. However, there is a lack of theorizing and experimental studies regarding the influence of local religions on inter-personal conduct. In the current research, we obtained data on beliefs regarding the moralizing qualities of the Christian god, a local god (Ogum), and police in a sample from Northeastern Brazil (n?=?193). We used these beliefs as predictors of behavior in Dictator Games where players distributed endowed money between anonymous individuals belonging to local and distant communities. We used subtle reminders of the Christian god, Ogum, and police to investigate their influence on game behavior. The correlational and priming results are mostly in agreement, revealing that: (a) the Christian god is perceived as most moralizing, but (b) has only limited impact on game behavior, while (c) adherence to Ogum is associated with ingroup favoritism, as is (d) priming with secular authority. These results illustrate the differential effects of belief in moralizing and local deities on extended prosociality but show that in specific contexts, secular authorities may emulate the effects of local rather than moralizing deities.
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