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Quest Religion, Anti-Fundamentalism, and Limited Versus Universal Compassion

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Goldfried and Miner (2002) claimed to provide evidence that those high in quest religion are less likely to help a religiously closed-minded person even when the help does not promote closed-mindedness. As a result, they concluded that quest religion is associated with limited, not universal, compassion. An experiment modeled on theirs but avoiding several methodological problems suggested a very different conclusion. Although participants high in quest religion helped a religiously closed-minded person less when doing so promoted closed-mindedness, they were no less likely to help such a person when it did not promote closed-mindedness. These results suggest that quest religion is associated with antipathy toward promoting closed-mindedness, not with antipathy toward religiously closed-minded persons. The scope of compassion associated with quest religion does not appear to be limited in the way Goldfried and Miner claimed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: C. Daniel Batson is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045., Email: 2: Drew M. Denton and Jason T. Vollmecke were undergraduates majoring in psychology at the University of Kansas. ;, Email:

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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