Does Religion Increase Moral Behavior?

Article · March 2016with9,469 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.07.009
Abstract
Religion affects both moral decision-making and moral behavior. Compared to the more utilitarian non-believers, religious believers tend to endorse a meta-ethics rooted in deontic rules and views of objective moral truths. Believers are also more likely to endorse authority, loyalty and purity as motives for moral concern. The moral importance of prosocial behavior, however, is endorsed across the religiosity spectrum. Religiosity is associated with higher self-reports, but not behavioral measures of prosocial behavior. This discrepancy can be explained on the one hand by a tendency for the religious to be higher in impression management and self-enhancement, and on the other hand by a failure of lab-based behavioral tasks to capture the real life circumstances under which religion inspires prosocial behavior.
2 Figures
Does
religion
increase
moral
behavior?
Azim
F
Shariff
Religion
affects
both
moral
decision-making
and
moral
behavior.
Compared
to
the
more
utilitarian
non-believers,
religious
believers
tend
to
endorse
a
meta-ethics
rooted
in
deontic
rules
and
views
of
objective
moral
truths.
Believers
are
also
more
likely
to
endorse
authority,
loyalty
and
purity
as
motives
for
moral
concern.
The
moral
importance
of
prosocial
behavior,
however,
is
endorsed
across
the
religiosity
spectrum.
Religiosity
is
associated
with
higher
self-reports,
but
not
behavioral
measures
of
prosocial
behavior.
This
discrepancy
can
be
explained
on
the
one
hand
by
a
tendency
for
the
religious
to
be
higher
in
impression
management
and
self-enhancement,
and
on
the
other
hand
by
a
failure
of
lab-based
behavioral
tasks
to
capture
the
real
life
circumstances
under
which
religion
inspires
prosocial
behavior.
Address
Department
of
Psychology,
University
of
Oregon,
1227
University
of
Oregon,
Eugene,
OR
97401,
United
States
Corresponding
author:
Shariff,
Azim
F
(shariff@uoregon.edu)
Current
Opinion
in
Psychology
2015,
6:108113
This
review
comes
from
a
themed
issue
on
Morality
and
ethics
Edited
by
Francesca
Gino
and
Shaul
Shalvi
For
a
complete
overview
see
the
Issue
and
the
Editorial
Available
online
3rd
August
2015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.07.009
2352-250X/#
2015
Elsevier
Ltd.
All
rights
reserved.
Despite
his
own
disbelief,
Critias
Plato’s
uncle
and
one
of
the
earliest
recorded
atheists
argued
that
religion
was
necessary
due
to
its
salutary
and
stabilizing
effect
on
the
morality
of
the
populace
[1].
Variants
of
this
argument
have
been
echoed
over
the
ensuing
25
centuries
by
both
believers
(e.g.
Voltaire
[2])
and
non-believers
(e.g.
Marx
[3]).
Hitchens
[4],
a
more
recent
atheist,
has
joined
a
chorus
forcefully
rejecting
this
line
of
thinking,
claiming
instead
that
there
is
conclusive
evidence
to
the
contrary;
religion
makes
people
mean
and
selfish.
None
of
these
assertions
was
backed
by
systematic
evidence.
However,
acceler-
ated
social
scientific
research
over
the
last
ten
years
has
now
produced
enough
data
to
hazard
a
valid
answer.
Does
religion
increase
moral
behavior?
Before
answering,
how
religion
intersects
with
moral
decision-making
determining
what
is
right
in
the
first
place
must
first
be
discussed.
What
is
moral?
Religious
and
non-religious
people
differ
on
meta-ethics
Religious
commitments
determine
moral
commitments.
The
very
bases
on
which
an
individual
decides
what
is
right
varies
systematically
depending
on
his
or
her
reli-
gious
beliefs
[5].
Deontological
and
objectivist
Religiosity
is
associated
with
a
more
deontic
and
objec-
tivist
meta-ethical
style.
Rules
often
derived
from
divine
command
are
held
to
be
inviolate
prescriptions
for
what
is
right.
For
example,
Piazza
and
Sousa
[6

]
have
shown
that
when
confronted
with
questions
about
wheth-
er
violating
a
moral
rule
(e.g.
lying,
stealing,
etc.)
is
morally
justified
were
it
to
lead
to
less
suffering
and
greater
happiness,
people’s
responses
are
largely
deter-
mined
by
their
religiosity.
The
more
religious
people
are,
the
less
comfortable
they
are
with
ignoring
abstract
moral
rules
and
basing
their
decisions
on
a
utilitarian
calculus
of
benefits
and
harms.
The
more
religious
are
also
more
apt
to
adopt
an
objec-
tivist
moral
stance
that
is,
believing
that
if
two
people
disagree
on
a
moral
issue,
(at
least)
one
must
be
wrong
[7].
The
non-religious
are
more
likely
to
see
moral
decisions
as
subjective
or
culturally
relative.
In
fact,
religious
prim-
ing
studies
which
aim
to
make
causal
claims
about
religion’s
impact
by
experimentally
manipulating
the
salience
of
religion
have
found
that
exposing
people
to
implicit
religious
primes
increases
their
tendency
to
see
morality
as
objective
[8
].
Moral
foundations
Haidt
and
Graham’s
[9]
Moral
Foundations
Theory
frac-
tionates
moral
concern
into
five
(or
sometimes
six)
basic
foundations.
Endorsement
of
two
of
these
foundations
concern
over
fairness
and
justice,
and
concern
over
harm
and
compassion
shows no difference
acrossthe
spectrum
of
religiosity.
However,
endorsement
of
the
other
three
foundations
concern
over
loyalty
to
the
ingroup,
over
respect
and
obedience
to
authority,
and
over
sanctity
and
purity
is
higher
among
the
more
religious
(Figure
1).
That
religion
may
play
a
causal
role
in
the
increased
concern
for
the
latter
three
foundations
sees
some
support
from
the
religious
priming
literature.
For
example,
not
only
does
religiosity
predict
more
parochial,
ingroupish
attitudes
when
it
comes
to
racism
[10],
but
priming
Christians
with
God
concepts
has
been
shown
to
increase
derogation
of
a
range
of
ethnic,
national,
and
religious
outgroups,
while
increasing
favor
for
the
religious
ingroup
[1113].
Religious
priming
has
also
been
found
Available
online
at
www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
Current
Opinion
in
Psychology
2015,
6:108113
www.sciencedirect.com
to
increase
submission-related
thoughts,
obedience
to
authority
figures,
and
conformity
to
group
influence
[14,15].
No
religious
priming
study
has
yet
shown
an
effect
on
measures
of
disgust,
purity
and
sanctity,
but
given
the
tight
theoretical
ties
between
these
concepts
and
religion,
future
research
may
hold
promise.
Prosociality
Despite
these
fundamental
differences
in
the
very
types
of
morality
that
are
endorsed,
there
is
common
ground
on
which
believers
and
non-believers
agree
[16].
Where
moral
values
do
not
conflict
with
each
other,
but
instead
conflict
only
with
selfishness,
we
find
the
constellation
of
constructs
that
can
be
called
‘prosocial’
behavior:
gener-
osity,
cooperation,
and
honesty,
for
example.
Note
that
prosociality
is
not
confined
to
‘nice’
behaviors,
and
can
involve
many
aggressive
and
punitive
behaviors
that
are
nonetheless
immediately
costly
to
the
self,
and
beneficial
for
others
(see
McKay
and
Whitehouse
[5]
for
a
similar
discussion).
Prosocial
behavior
offers
a
set
of
commonly
endorsed
constructs
on
which
the
religious
and
non-
religious
can
be
legitimately
compared.
Religious
people
report
more
prosocial
behavior
than
do
the
non-religious
Myriad
surveys
of
charity,
volunteerism,
and
helping
behavior
have
consistently
found
reports
of
these
behaviors
to
be
positively
associated
with
religiosity.
For
example,
analyzing
data
from
the
Giving
and
Volunteering
in
the
United
States
survey,
and
Arts
and
Religion
Survey,
Brooks
[17]
found
that,
of
those
who
pray
everyday,
83%
give
to
charity,
whereas
the
figure
is
53%
for
those
who
never
pray.
This
reported
charity
gap
widens
from
30
to
50
points
when
comparing
those
who
attended
a
house
of
worship
once
a
week,
versus
those
who
never
attend.
Even
when
only
counting
donations
to
non-religious
charities,
the
charity
gap
is
still
14
points,
favoring
the
religious.
Decades
of
research
by
psychologists
and
economists
have,
however,
failed
to
replicate
these
differences
using
behav-
ioral
tasks
in
the
lab.
Absent
religious
priming
(see
below),
religiosity
rarely
predicts
outcomes
on
economic
games
and
other
tasks
designed
to
measure
charitability,
helping
behavior,
and
other
forms
of
prosociality.
This
discrepancy
between
self-report
and
behavioral
measures
of
prosociality
has
been
supported
by
a
recent
meta-analy-
sis
[18].
Across
31
studies
(n
=
30
826),
religiosity
consis-
tently
predicted
higher
scores
on
self-report
measures
of
prosociality,
but
no
effect
emerged
for
behavioral
tasks.
What
accounts
for
this
discrepancy?
There
are
two
possi-
bilities.
First,
the
self-reports
of
the
religious
may
over-
state
their
actual
prosocial
behavior
and
instead
reflect
differences
in
socially
desirable
responding.
Second,
the
Does
religion
increase
moral
behavior?
Shariff
109
Figure
1
1
2
3
4
5
Never
Once a year or less
A
few times a year
A few times a month
Almost every week
Weekly or more
Harm/Care
Justice/Fairness
Authority/Respect
Ingroup/Loyalty
Purity/Disgust
Religious Attendance
Endorsement as moral foundation
Current Opinion in Psychology
Religious
attendance
and
endorsement
of
the
five
moral
foundations.
Religiosity
predicts
the
three
‘binding’
foundations,
but
not
Harm/Care
and
Justice/Fairness.
www.sciencedirect.com
Current
Opinion
in
Psychology
2015,
6:108113
behavioral
tasks
in
a
laboratory
might
not
be
representa-
tive
of
prosocial
behaviors
in
which
believers
engage
in
the
real
world,
and
therefore
understate
real
differences.
These
possibilities
are
not
mutually
incompatible,
and
both
are
supported
by
extensive
bodies
of
research.
Meta-analyses
reveal
that
religiosity
is
positively
related
to
socially
desirable
responding,
especially
impression
management
[19,20].
How
religion
relates
to
the
desire
to
appear,
but
not
necessarily
be,
prosocial
is
elegantly
captured
by
a
study
Batson
and
colleagues
[21].
Parti-
cipants
were
given
the
opportunity
to
publicly
volunteer
to
help
a
child
in
need.
In
one
condition,
the
subject
was
likely
to
be
selected
to
follow
through
on
his
or
her
offer.
In
a
second
condition,
however,
this
possibility
was
remote,
meaning
one
could
reap
the
benefits
of
appear-
ing
altruistic
while
knowing
that
one
would
be
unlikely
to
actually
pay
the
costs
of
engaging
in
any
altruism.
Though
intrinsic
religiosity
was
unrelated
to
offers
to
help
in
the
former
condition,
it
strongly
correlated
(r
=
0.50)
in
the
latter.
That
is,
the
more
religious
the
participant,
the
more
likely
they
were
to
volunteer
to
help
but
only
when
it
was
unlikely
that
they
would
actually
need
to
follow
through.
Rather
than
suggesting
that
religion
motivates
people
to
inflate
their
socially
desirable
traits,
Sedikides
and
Gebauer
propose
the
opposite
causal
direction:
the
drive
to
self-enhance
increases
religiosity.
People
are
generally
prone
to
boosting
their
self-concepts
via
a
variety
of
methods
(e.g.
downward
social
comparisons,
discounting,
self-handicapping,
etc.).
Sedikides
and
Gebauer
concep-
tualize
this
tendency
as
a
trait
on
which
individuals
vary,
and
propose
that
religiosity
is
a
powerful
means
of
self-
enhancement.
Individuals
higher
on
the
trait
are
more
likely
to
seek
out
religion
as
part
of
their
array
of
psy-
chological
tools
to
self-enhance.
Given
that
religious
devotion
is
itself
a
socially
desirable
trait,
at
least
in
the
United
States,
we
might
expect
that
those
concerned
with
impression
management
would
exaggerate
their
religiosity
as
well.
Though
it
is
difficult
to
discern
the
sincerity
of
levels
of
belief,
a
number
of
studies
using
a
diverse
set
of
methodologies
have
converged
to
show
consistent
overstatements
in
terms
of
religious
attendance
[2224].
As
a
result,
studies
that
show
relationships
between
reports
of
religious
attendance
and
reports
of
prosocial
behavior
may
simply
be
distinguishing
those
who
are
low
in
self-enhance-
ment
from
those
who
are
apt
to
self-enhance
on
both
dimensions.
Prosocial
behavior
may
derive
from
the
religious
situation,
not
the
religious
disposition
Reporting
biases
likely
explain
part
of
why
religiosity
is
associated
with
self-reported,
but
not
behavioral,
measures
of
prosociality.
However,
those
behavioral
measures
may
themselves
misrepresent
and
understate
the
true
relation-
ship
between
religion
and
prosociality.
Popular
tools
like
the
dictator
game
maximize
internal
validity
and
tightly
isolate
the
construct
under
measure.
But
these
tasks,
performed
in
sterile
and
unfamiliar
laboratory
rooms,
may
not
accurately
capture
the
circumstances
under
which
religion
really
does
prompt
individuals
to
engage
in
more
generosity
or
cooperation.
In
other
words,
these
lab-based
experiments
miss
out
on
the
religious
situation
which
may
ultimately
be
more
important
for
encouraging
proso-
ciality
than
the
religious
disposition.
Many
elements
commonly
found
in
religions
may
have
emerged
and
persisted
due
to
the
prosocial
benefits
that
they
afforded
over
time
[25

].
Much
recent
research
has
focused
on
the
ability
of
two
such
elements
religious
rituals
and
beliefs
in
punishing
supernatural
agents
to
engender
religious
situations.
Religious
ritual
Rituals,
both
extravagant
and
mundane,
are
among
the
most
conspicuous
and
time-intensive
features
of
religious
life.
Though
there
is
considerable
diversity
across
the
array
of
existing
rituals,
recurrent
aspects
hint
at
a
non-
random
selection
for
features
that
proved
individually
and/or
socially
useful.
For
example,
having
groups
of
individuals
performing
actions
in
synchrony
common
among
religions
(as
well
as
militaries
and
other
tightly
knit
groups)
has
been
shown
to
increase
feelings
of
within-group
affiliation,
fusion,
trust,
and
cooperation
[2628].
Durkheim
[29]
famously
described
this
outcome
of
ritual
as
‘collective
effervescence’
and
predicted
its
value
for
social
cohesion.
In
an
attempt
to
capture
physiological
evidence
for
collective
effervescence,
Konvalinka
and
colleagues
[30]
found
that
observers
related
to
an
individual
walking
across
hot
coals
as
part
of
an
important
high-arousal
local
ritual
(but
not
those
who
were
not
related)
developed
synchronized
heart
rates
with
the
fire-walker.
Testing
prosociality
directly,
Xygalatas
and
colleagues
[31
]
found
that
both
partici-
pating
in
and
simply
observing
high-arousal
Hindu
rituals
(involving
painful
body
piercing)
increased
anon-
ymous
donations
to
the
local
temple.
Furthermore,
the
level
of
pain
experienced
by
the
participants
and
pain
perceived
by
the
observers
both
predicted
the
amount
donated.
Thus,
while
religious
people
are
likely
to
find
themselves
moved
to
act
prosocially
by
both
routine
synchronic
rituals
(such
as
hymn-singing
and
prostrated
prayer)
and
less
frequent
high-arousal
rituals
(such
as
circumcision
and
body
piercing),
these
types
of
religious
situations
are
not
present
when
prosociality
is
being
behaviorally
tested
in
the
lab.
110
Morality
and
ethics
Current
Opinion
in
Psychology
2015,
6:108113
www.sciencedirect.com
Supernatural
punishment
The
other
factor
long
hypothesized
to
contribute
to
prosocial
behavior
among
the
religious
is
the
belief
in
supernatural
agents
that
monitor,
judge,
and
punish
im-
moral
behavior.
People’s
compliance
with
prosocial
norms
can
be
highly
dependent
on
their
feelings
of
anonymity
[32,33].
Pervasive
beliefs
that
morally
con-
cerned
spirits
and
gods
are
watching
even
in
situations
void
of
earthly
eyes
may
have
dramatically
increased
prosociality
within
groups
[34].
The
prediction
is
sup-
ported
by
findings
that
religious
priming
increases
feeling
of
surveillance
[35]
as
well
as
generosity,
cooperation,
volunteerism,
and
honesty
[3639].
These
effects
are
summarized
and
discussed
in
a
recent
meta-analysis
of
25
studies
(n
=
4825)
testing
religious
priming
effects
on
prosocial
outcomes
[40
]
(Figure
2).
Notably,
moderation
analyses
reveal
that
whereas
God
primes
reliably
increase
these
outcomes
among
religious
believers,
there
is
no
effect
for
non-believers.
In
other
words,
the
priming
effects
on
prosociality
are
the
product
of
the
interaction
of
both
situational
(the
presence
of
God
primes)
and
dispositional
(existing
religious
beliefs)
factors.
Humans
first,
believers
second
Furthermore,
that
religious
participants
only
see
a
pro-
social
advantage
in
lab
tests
when
they
have
been
religiously
primed,
and
not
in
control
conditions,
indi-
cates
that
the
religious
do
not
exist
in
a
state
of
being
perpetually
primed.
The
religious
priming
effect
is
ephemeral.
These
boundary
conditions
are
neatly
displayed
in
Mal-
hotra’s
[41]
research
on
charity
and
‘the
Sunday
Effect.’
Prior
research
had
shown
less
pornographic
website
traffic
in
more
religious
American
metropolitan
areas,
but
only
on
Sundays
[42].
Hypothesizing
that
Sunday
may
serve
as
a
naturalistic
religious
prime
for
Christians,
Malhotra
inves-
tigated
patterns
of
bidding
in
online
charitable
auctions
throughout
the
week.
In
these
auctions,
potential
donators
must
compete
to
be
the
highest
bidder
in
order
to
donate,
and
they
receive
email
alerts
when
they
have
been
outbid,
inviting
them
to
submit
a
higher
pledge.
Malhotra
found
Does
religion
increase
moral
behavior?
Shariff
111
Figure
2
RE Model
−1.00 −0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
Observed Outcome
Purzycki et al. (unpu
blished)
Hurst (unpu
blished)
Gervais & Norenz
ayan (unpublished)
Duhaime (unpublished thesis) − study 1
Cohen, Mund
ry, & Kirschner (2014)
Avey
ard (2014) − Study 2
Avey
ard (2014) − Study 1
Sasaki et al. (2013)
Rand et al. (2013) − Study 2
Ahmed & Salas (2013)
Xygalatas (2012)
Hadnes & Schmacher (2012)
McKay et al. (2011)
Horton et al. (2011)
Ahmed & Salas (2011) − Study 1
Ahmed & Hammarstedt (2011)
Benjamin, Choi & Fisher (2010) − Study 1B
Benjamin, Choi & Fisher (2010) − Study 1A
Pichon & Saroglou (2009)
Carpenter & Marshall (2009)
Shariff & Norenz
ayan (2007) − Study 2
Shariff & Norenz
ayan (2007) − Study 1
Randolph−Seng & Nielsen (2007) − Study 1
Pichon, Boccato & Saroglou (2007) − Study 2
Pichon, Boccato & Saroglou (2007) − Study 1
Exp
Imp
Imp
Con
Exp
Con
Imp
Imp
Exp
Con
Con
Exp
Sub
Exp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Con
Exp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Imp
Sub
−0.35 [ −0.63 , −0.07 ]
0.31 [ −0.05 , 0.68 ]
−0.26 [ −0.98 , 0.46 ]
0.34 [ −0.10 , 0.77 ]
0.65 [ −0.05 , 1.34 ]
0.53 [ 0.05 , 1.01 ]
−0.21 [ −0.82 , 0.41 ]
0.22 [ −0.08 , 0.52 ]
0.10 [ −0.09 , 0.28 ]
0.67 [ 0.33 , 1.00 ]
0.98 [ 0.45 , 1.51 ]
0.35 [ 0.05 , 0.64 ]
−0.01 [ −0.23 , 0.22 ]
0.11 [ −0.18 , 0.40 ]
0.44 [ 0.17 , 0.71 ]
0.48 [ 0.07 , 0.89 ]
−0.06 [ −0.22 , 0.11 ]
0.11 [ −0.06 , 0.28 ]
0.04 [ −0.25 , 0.33 ]
0.16 [ −0.17 , 0.49 ]
0.69 [ 0.12 , 1.26 ]
1.03 [ 0.44 , 1.62 ]
0.52 [ −0.08 , 1.12 ]
0.40 [ −0.13 , 0.93 ]
0.51 [ 0.08 , 0.94 ]
0.27 [ 0.14 , 0.39 ]
Study
Prime
Effect Size
Current Opinion in Psychology
Meta-analysis
of
25
studies
testing
the
effect
of
religious
priming
on
prosociality.
From
Shariff
et
al.
[40
].
www.sciencedirect.com
Current
Opinion
in
Psychology
2015,
6:108113
that
when
such
emails
were
sent
on
Sundays,
a
much
higher
proportion
of
religious
than
non-religious
individu-
als
responded
by
rebidding.
However,
from
Monday
on-
wards,
there
was
no
longer
any
difference.
Other
studies
using
‘real
world’
religious
primes
have
found
similarly
short-lived
effects.
Duhaime
(unpub-
lished
master’s
thesis,
University
of
Cambridge)
used
a
variant
of
the
dictator
game
to
study
the
charitability
of
shopkeepers
in
Marrakesh
noting
the
differences
in
behavior
depending
on
when
the
adha
¯
n,
the
Muslim
call
to
prayer,
had
last
been
sounded.
As
expected,
shop-
keepers
were
substantially
more
generous
when
the
adha
¯
n
was
audible,
but
for
those
tested
even
20
min
later,
the
effect
had
worn
off.
Conclusion
Does
religion
increase
moral
behavior?
Yes.
Even
though
the
effect
is
parochial,
bounded,
transient,
situationally
constrained,
and
often
overstated,
it
is
real.
And,
follow-
ing
Critias,
Voltaire,
Marx
and
Durkheim
[13,29],
many
psychologists
have
argued
that
this
religious
prosociality
effect
was
instrumental
not
just
in
religions’
successes
at
becoming
such
pervasive
and
dominating
institutions,
but
also
for
the
stability
of
large-scale
civilizations
[25

].
Without
a
compelling
force
constantly
reminding
group
members
to
act
prosocially,
in
the
group’s
rather
than
one’s
own
interest,
large-scale
cooperation
may
have
been
elusive
at
least
in
what
might
be
understood
as
pre-
secular
times.
Today,
many
mostly
areligious
communi-
ties
have
leveraged
relatively
modern
secular
institutions
of
justice
[39]
and
civilizing
trends
[43,44]
to
function
extremely
well
without
a
prosocial
contribution
from
religion.
Nevertheless,
even
today,
the
moral
lives
of
billions
of
people
are
still
shaped
by
the
contours
of
their
religious
beliefs.
Acknowledgements
The
author
thanks
Stephanie
Kramer,
Brett
Mercier
and
Cassandra
Brandes
for
helpful
comments
on
a
previous
draft
of
this
manuscript.
Thanks
also
to
Jesse
Graham
for
providing
the
data
for
Figure
1.
References
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    • Existing research on this topic is mostly limited to Western welfare democracies, and the findings are far from being conclusive. Many authors, using various data sets and research designs, have found that upward mobility negatively associates with redistribution preferences (Alesina & La Ferrara, 2005; Schmidt, 2011; Shariff, 2015; Siedler & Sonnenberg, 2012); while others have found no, or even negative, associations (e.g. Guillaud, 2013; Clark & D'Angelo, 2010).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article explores the association between intergenerational social mobility and attitudes towards income differences in post-socialist societies. I hypothesise that based on the psychological mechanism of self-serving bias in causal attribution, those who experience upward social mobility are more likely to support greater income differences, and that subjective intergenerational mobility has stronger association with attitudes towards income differences than objective mobility because individuals filter their objective environment in order to derive their subjective perceptions of the world and their own experiences. The described hypotheses are tested with two cross-national data sets – European Values Studies and Life in Transition Survey. The derived findings are robust to alternative statistical specifications and indicate that individuals who perceive themselves as subjectively mobile have significantly different attitudes towards income differences in comparison to non-mobile groups, but that this effect does not manifest among objectively mobile individuals.
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since decades, cross-cultural psychology examines moral values using data from standardized surveys, assuming that values guide human behavior. We add to this literature by studying the link between moral values and various forms of prosocial behavior, using data from respondents of the sixth World Values Survey in Germany who participated in an online behavioral experiment. The experiment consists of a series of incentivized tasks and allows us to elaborate the association between survey-measured values and three facets of observed prosocial behavior. The evidence boils down to three findings. While (a) emancipative values relate to higher common pool contributions and (b) higher donations to charitable organizations, (c) secular values are linked with more productive and less protective investments. As these results conform to key theories and reach empirical significance in a major postindustrial nation, we conclude that we have important evidence at hand highlighting the potential of combined survey-experiment methods to establish value–behavior links that are otherwise inexplorable.
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Comments

Appalachian State University
Thanks!
Appalachian State University
Hi Azim--has this come out yet? I can't find the actual article in published form, and am assuming it must be out by now. Wanting to cite you in a current piece. Thanks!
September 3, 2015
University of California, Irvine
whoops. fixed in proofed version.