Is God Really Watching You? A Response to Shariff and Norenzayan
The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Shariff and Norenzayan (2007) recently reported in the journal Psychological Science that covertly priming participants with “God concepts” increased prosocial behavior regardless of self-reported religiosity. They interpreted their data as supportive of ideomotor and supernatural watcher effects, with implications discussed in the context of religion facilitating the development of cooperative societies. However, methodological choices and theoretical ambiguities call into question these interpretations and implications.
Randolph-Seng, Brandon, Michael Nielsen.
"Is God Really Watching You? A Response to Shariff and Norenzayan."
The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18: 119-122.