ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 1095-1108.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01095

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles    

Religion and Prosocial Behavior

DONG Mengchen; WU Song; ZHU Yijie; GUO Yafei; JIN Shenghua   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Beijing Normal University; Beijing Key Lab for Applied Experimental Psychology, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2014-11-02 Online:2015-06-25 Published:2015-06-25
  • Contact: JIN Shenghua, E-mail:


Previous research has identified the positive correlation between religion and prosocial behavior. Accordingly, the “religious prosociality hypothesis” was proposed to further examine if there was a causal relation. In this paper, progress of current researches concerning the religious prosociality hypothesis would be introduced and reviewed, from the perspective of methodology, influencing factors and psychological mechanism. In its early stage, researchers mainly focused on the effect of religious identity on prosocial behavior, however, in recent years, more and more importance has been attached to the effects of religious priming. “Religious Prosociality Hypothesis” was supposed to be influenced by a variety of factors, including intensity of faith, cultural background, religious cognition and religious orientation etc. As to the future research, the impact of religious identity on prosocial measurement should be effectively controlled, the operational definition of religion should be specified and relevant measurements should be improved, the mechanism of spirituality, cross-cultural effect of religion and effect of religious belief on nonreligious individuals should be closely regarded as well.

Key words: religion, prosocial behavior, religious priming, religious orientation, spirituality