Do Religious and Moral Concepts Influence the Ability to Delay Gratification? A Priming Study

Justin Harrison, Ryan McKay

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Abstract

Rounding, Lee, Jacobsen and Ji (2012) reported that priming with religiousconcepts increases the ability to delay gratification, an interpretation that impliesdecreased temporal discounting. The required magnitude of such a decreaseâ€Â'tomake participants respond in the way Rounding et al. reportâ€Â'is very large, andshould be easily detectable. Sixty-nine participants were allocated to religious,secular moral (Fairness) or neutral priming conditions. Temporal discountingrates were estimated for each participant using an ‘Equivalent Present Value’procedure prior to and following the sentence unscrambling primes. No effectsfor priming conditions were detected. With regard to theoretical explanationsfor the results, we suggest that it is not the abilityâ€Â'but motivationâ€Â'to delaygratification that is influenced by religious concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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