20 May 2020
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology provides evidence that atheists behave more fairly towards Christians than Christians behave towards atheists.
The Independent reports:
Atheists are more generous toward Christians than Christians are toward them, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at Ohio University asked participants to share monetary rewards with partners in a version of the “dictator game”, in which one person had no power to affect the division of the bounty.
When atheists were told of their partner’s religious beliefs, they “behaved impartially toward ingroup and outgroup partners,” the study’s authors wrote in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
However, “Christians consistently demonstrated an ingroup bias”.
Lead author of the study, Colleen Cowgill, explained to PsyPost: “The rise of the so-called ‘New Atheists’ about a decade ago coupled with the ongoing ‘culture wars’ between religious and secular groups in the United States has led atheists as a population to gain an unprecedented level of visibility in this country in recent years, even as their prevalence has only incrementally increased. This has sparked a particular interest in anti-atheist prejudice research in social psychology.”
In 2017 a study in Canada found that a majority (76%) of people did not believe being religious made someone a better citizen. And more than half of those polled believed faith did more harm than good. In Britain, fewer than a quarter of people believe religion is a force for good.
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