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Quest Religion and the Problem of Limited Compassion

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Is the religious questing orientation an unprejudiced orientation that shows tolerance for people to a degree that suggests universal, rather than circumscribed, compassion? To answer this question, 90 undergraduates were given the opportunity to help either of two peers win a monetary prize. The identity of one of the peers was manipulated across two conditions: he or she was presented as holding a religious fundamentalist belief style or belief style unspecified. The purpose of the monetary prize was also varied across two conditions: an activity that either would or would not promote religious fundamentalist behavior. Participants scoring high in religious questing helped the discloser who held a religious fundamentalist belief style less than the discloser who did not, irrespective of whether they promoted religious fundamentalist behavior or not. These results suggest that the questing orientation is associated with prejudice toward the value-violating person when the salient person value violates the open-minded belief style of the questing orientation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia 2: School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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