It has been presumed that religiosity has an influence on mating behavior, but here we experimentally investigate the possibility that mating behavior might also influence religiosity. In Experiment 1, people reported higher religiosity after looking at mating pools consisting of attractive people of their own sex compared to attractive opposite sex targets. Experiment 2 replicated the effect with an added control group, and suggested that both men and women become more religious when seeing same-sex competitors. We discuss several possible explanations for these effects. Most broadly, the findings contribute to an emerging literature on how cultural phenomena such as religiosity respond to ecological cues in potentially functional ways.
- Mating behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science