Religiosity and Altruism: Faith Without Works?
- Volume 7
- Summer 1979
- Religiosity and Altruism: Faith Without Works?
This paper explores the relationship between religiosity and altruistic behavior. By definition, altruism entails behavior displayed in the apparent absence of external reinforcers; thus it must be maintained either by consequences that were not evident to the observer, or in the absence of reinforcement. There are several mechanisms, which should enable Christians to display more altruism than nonbelievers, yet several research studies have found no relationship between religiosity and measures of helping behavior. The methodology of these studies is critiqued, and topics for future research are suggested.
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