Religion, discrimination and trust across three cultures

Gaecther, Simon (2017). Religion, discrimination and trust across three cultures. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852806

This network project brings together economists, psychologists, computer and complexity scientists from three leading centres for behavioural social science at Nottingham, Warwick and UEA. This group will lead a research programme with two broad objectives: to develop and test cross-disciplinary models of human behaviour and behaviour change; to draw out their implications for the formulation and evaluation of public policy. Foundational research will focus on three inter-related themes: understanding individual behaviour and behaviour change; understanding social and interactive behaviour; rethinking the foundations of policy analysis. The project will explore implications of the basic science for policy via a series of applied projects connecting naturally with the three themes. These will include: the determinants of consumer credit behaviour; the formation of social values; strategies for evaluation of policies affecting health and safety. The research will integrate theoretical perspectives from multiple disciplines and utilise a wide range of complementary methodologies including: theoretical modeling of individuals, groups and complex systems; conceptual analysis; lab and field experiments; analysis of large data sets. The Network will promote high quality cross-disciplinary research and serve as a policy forum for understanding behaviour and behaviour change.

Data description (abstract)

We propose that religion impacts trust and trustworthiness in ways that depend on how individuals are socially identified and connected. Religiosity and religious affiliation may serve as markers for statistical discrimination. Further, affiliation to the same religion may enhance group identity, or affiliation irrespective of creed may lend social identity, and in turn induce taste-based discrimination. Religiosity may also relate to general prejudice. We test these hypotheses across three culturally diverse countries. Participants׳ willingness to discriminate, beliefs of how trustworthy or trusting others are, as well as actual trust and trustworthiness are measured incentive compatibly. We find that interpersonal similarity in religiosity and affiliation promote trust through beliefs of reciprocity. Religious participants also believe that those belonging to some faith are trustworthier, but invest more trust only in those of the same religion—religiosity amplifies this effect. Across non-religious categories, whereas more religious participants are more willing to discriminate, less religious participants are as likely to display group biases.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Gaecther Simon University of Nottingham
Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Chuah Swee Hoon RMIT University
Hoffmann Robert RMIT University
Tan Jonathan HW University of Nottingham
Sponsors: Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: ES/K002201/1
Topic classification: Economics
Keywords: Religiosity, Connectedness, Discrimination, trust, Experiment
Project title: Network for Integrated Behavioural Science
Grant holders: Chris Starmer, Daniel John Zizzo, Nick Chater, Gordon Brown, Anders Poulsen, Martin Sefton, Neil Stewart, Uwe Aickelin, John Gathergood, Robert Sugden, Simon Gaechter, Enrique Fatas, Theodore Turocy, Shaun Hargreaves-Heap, Abigail Barr, Graham Loomes, Robin Cubitt, Robert MacKay, Daniel Read
Project dates:
31 December 201230 September 2017
Date published: 04 Dec 2017 15:10
Last modified: 04 Dec 2017 15:10

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