Title

Is God Really Watching You? A Response to Shariff and Norenzayan

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Publication Title

The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

DOI

10.1080/10508610701879373

Abstract

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.