Miyatake & Higuchi (2017)

Miyatake, S.(宮武沙苗), & Higuchi, M.(樋口匡貴) (2017).
Does religious priming increase the prosocial behaviour of a Japanese sample in an anonymous economic game?
Asian Journal of Social Psychology.
doi: 10.1111/ajsp.12164
We examined the effect of religious priming on a Japanese sample in an anonymous dictator game whereas previous studies on religious priming on prosociality had mainly been conducted within Western contexts. The current study attempted to examine whether religion increases prosocial behaviour in a Japanese sample through the replication of ‘God is Watching You’ (Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007) where it was found that participants primed with religion-related words and secular justice-related words behaved more prosocially than participants primed with neutral words in an anonymous dictator game. The current experiment was conducted with Japanese students (n = 106) to examine whether the results of the original study could be applied to Japanese people. The results showed that among the three priming conditions (control, religion, secular justice), there was no difference in the amount of money participants allocated to anonymous strangers, although in the secular justice priming condition, theists allocated more money than atheists. The results might be due to the fact that the religious priming words used in the original study did not precisely activate the propositional network of religion that Japanese participants have. More culture-specific studies are necessary to examine how religious priming works for non-Westerners.