7. Past its Prime? A Methodological Overview and Critique of Religious Priming Research in Social Psychology

Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

Shoko Watanabe [+-]
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Shoko Watanabe is a social psychology PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sean M. Laurent [+-]
Pennsylvania State University
Sean Laurent is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University.

Description

Social psychologists have frequently used priming methodologies to explore how religion can impact behaviour. Despite this, no consensus currently exists on whether religious priming effects are replicable or consistently observed across a range of spiritual beliefs. Moreover, mixed evidence highlights possible methodological shortcomings within the priming literature as well as theoretical ambiguity regarding the contents of different primes. The current article examines four types of religious priming methodologies that are frequently used in social-psychological research (explicit, implicit, subliminal, and contextual) and critically inspects the current landscape of the religious priming literature. We highlight theoretical issues and suggest methodological improvements that should facilitate a clearer understanding of when and how religion influences human behaviour.

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Citation

Watanabe, Shoko; Laurent, Sean. 7. Past its Prime? A Methodological Overview and Critique of Religious Priming Research in Social Psychology. Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Aug 2022. ISBN 9781800501614. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43007. Date accessed: 27 Nov 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43007. Aug 2022

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