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Primed and prejudiced: examining the effects of priming religious exemplars on prejudice toward Muslims

Al-Kire, Rosemary Lyn (2018) Primed and prejudiced: examining the effects of priming religious exemplars on prejudice toward Muslims. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Priming techniques have recently been used to gain insight into the causal effects of religiosity on prosocial and antisocial outcomes. Previous research has demonstrated that religious priming may increase prejudice. However, little research has examined how varying the content of the religious primes may impact prejudice. It has been suggested that activating rewards associated with religion may increase prosocial behavior, but no research has been done examining whether activating religious moral ideals associated with an exemplar of one's religion may also result in increased prosocial behaviors. The present study tested primes that varied in their religious content (religious vs. non-religious) and the presence of a moral exemplar (exemplar vs. non-exemplar). We predicted that priming a religious moral exemplar would activate prosocial ideals associated with one's religion. Consistent with previous literature, it was hypothesized that the non-exemplar religious prime would increase prejudiced attitudes toward Muslims, but that priming a religious exemplar would result in less prejudiced attitudes than the non-exemplar religious prime. Results showed that the non-exemplar religious prime did increase prejudiced attitudes toward Muslims compared to a control, but there was not evidence that religious exemplar primes reduced prejudice compared to non-exemplar religious primes. There was some evidence that priming a religious moral exemplar tempered the prejudiced attitudes activated by religious cognition. This study has implications for the spiritual modeling theory as well as the psychology of religion to further examine ways in which modifying the content of religious primes produces differential effects on prejudiced attitudes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Additional Information: rla77@nau.edu
Keywords: Attitudes; Experimental; Muslims; Prejudice; Priming; Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
MeSH Subjects: F Psychiatry and Psychology > F01 Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Psychological Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 19:01
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 08:30
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5401

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