In money we trust: The relationship between religion and materialism

Huang, Yi (2014). In money we trust: The relationship between religion and materialism Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Huang, Yi
Thesis Title In money we trust: The relationship between religion and materialism
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Paul Bain
Total pages 106
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The tendency to be materialistic has been widely criticised by religious figures, who argue in texts and teachings that religion can reduce materialistic tendencies. However, previous research has predominantly focused on religion’s influence on prosociality rather than materialism. It was hypothesised that participants primed with religion would demonstrate lower levels of materialism compared to control participants. Two mechanisms by which religion may reduce materialism were examined: (a) religion’s ability to provide a moral community, and (b) religion’s ability to shift people’s focus toward God and spirituality. Participants (N = 149, mean age = 33.46, 77 male and 68 female) were implicitly primed with religion as community, religion as God and spirituality, or unrelated constructs (control). Self-reported materialism and materialistic behaviour were then measured, along with the control variables of prosociality and religiosity. It was found that participants primed with religion, whether as community or God and spirituality, demonstrated significantly lower self-reported materialism than control participants. This effect occurred independently of individual prosociality and religiosity. However, there was a more complex story for materialistic behaviour. No differences in materialistic behaviour were found between the control and religion conditions initially; however, a significant difference emerged once prosociality and religiosity were controlled for.
Keyword Religion

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Created: Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 11:24:56 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology