Mating competitors increase religious beliefs

Yexin Jessica Li, Adam Cohen, Jason Weeden, Douglas Kenrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-431
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • Mating behavior
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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