ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 926-936.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00926

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Does religious priming make people better?

RAO Tingting1, YU Feng1(), ZHOU Aiqin2, XU Liying1, YANG Shenlong1()   

  1. 1 Institute of Social Psychology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, 710049, China;
    2 School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • Received:2018-08-20 Online:2019-05-15 Published:2019-03-20
  • Contact: YU Feng,YANG Shenlong;


In recent years, multiple religious priming paradigms have been used to explore the relationship between religions and morality. It has been found that religious initiation, on the one hand, could promote people's prosocial behaviors and urge people to obey moral rules; on the other hand, it could also activate out-group prejudice and stimulate the hostility to groups with conflicting values. Existing research suggests that specific religious beliefs mediate the influence of religious priming on morality. Variables such as intrinsic religion, gender, the priming method and connotation of the stimuli, and some personality traits would serve as moderators influence the relationship between religion and morality because they may have influence on specific religious beliefs. Future research could further focus on methodological innovation as well as the exploration of other mediators and integrate more cross-religious and cross-cultural perspectives with interdisciplinary collaboration.

Key words: religion, morality, priming

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