In our new paper published in Evolutionary Psychology, we hypothesized that participants will choose as cooperative partners people who display markers of religious commitment. Since religions have been known to regulate cooperation by imposing norms and moral obligations on their members, signaling commitment to such norms by adoring religious badges may effectively help to find reliable cooperative partners.
In our experimental manipulation in Mauritius, we photoshopped religious badges (Hindu and Christian) on some pre-selected faces and let participants to choose faces for cooperative exchange in an economic game. We found that while faces adoring religious badges were trusted more on average, this effect held only for faces that displayed commitment to religions congruent with participants' affiliation. This is in contrast with previous studies on US undergraduate samples that find religious badges increase trust even across religious divides. Find more in the full article: https://journals.sagepub.com/…/full/10.1177/1474704918817644.