The Effect of Type of Self Perspective and God Prime on Prosociality


Frimer, Schaefer, and Oakes (2014) suggest that there are at least two distinct self-perspectives in every person: actor (tends to be prosocial) and agent (tends to be selfish), which mainly differentiated by the feeling of being watched. What if that feeling came from ideas about God? Priming God concept is known as an activating factor to prosociality. We predicted that the activation of God concept can diminish prosociality gap between self-perspectives by increasing their prosociality. It means that there is an interaction effect between self-perspective and God prime. A 2 (self-perspective: actor, agent) X 2 (prime: God, neutral) X 2 (recipient: self, others) mixed-design computer-based experiment (N = 124) was conducted to test them. The manipulations including a task to describe or rate the importance of two kinds of goals: selfish and prosocial (Frimer, Schaefer, & Oakes, 2014), and semantic prime (Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007). Prosociality is measured by comparing the importance of selfish and prosocial goals (Frimer, Schaefer, & Oakes, 2014). We found that God prime has divergent effects on prosociality: increases actor’s prosociality, but decreases agent’s prosociality. It suggests that effect of thought about God depends on how our self-perspective is. This finding is an important consideration in designing behavior intervention methods to promote prosocial behavior.

Author Information
Gumilang Reza Andika, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia
Rizka Halida, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2017
Stream: General Psychology

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