Effects of Religious Priming Concepts on Prosocial Behavior Towards Ingroup and Outgroup

Jame Bryan L. Batara, Pamela S. Franco, Mequia Angelo M. Quiachon, Dianelle Rose M. Sembrero


Several studies show that there is a connection between religion and prosociality (e.g., Saroglou, 2013). To investigate whether there is a causal relationship between these two variables, a growing number of scholars employed priming religious concepts and measure its influence on prosocial behavior (e.g., Pichon, Boccato, & Saroglou, 2007). In the recent development of religious priming, Ritter and Preston (2013) argued that different primes (agent prime, spiritual/abstract prime, and institutional prime) may also have varying influence on prosocial behavior specifically helping an ingroup or an outgroup target. With this in mind, a 2 (social categorization of the target of help) by 3 (agent prime, institutional prime, spiritual prime) experiment was conducted to directly investigate this hypothesis. Results suggest that priming religious concepts especially the spiritual prime can increase prosocial behaviors. However, no significant effect was found on the social categorization which implies that Filipino participants elicit prosocial behavior regardless of the social categorization (be it ingroup or outgroup) of the target of help. The present study’s findings contribute to further the literature on religious priming and its influence on prosocial behavior.


religion; priming; prosocial behavior; ingroup and outgroup; religious primes

Full Text: PDF HTML