Anti-Atheist Prejudice in Personality Judgments

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Project Overview

Atheists are typically evaluated much more negatively than a typical religious person, including being seen as more immoral and untrustworthy. One contributing factor is that being raised religious is widely identified as an important part of developing a moral code. This project examines how a target’s personality is evaluated differently depending on their current religiosity and the religiosity of their upbringing. Participants rated the personality of five targets: themselves, a person raised religious and currently religious, raised religious and not currently religious, raised not religious and currently religious, and raised not religious and currently not religious. Personality ratings included the HEXACO traits, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Targets who are not religious are predicted to receive more negative personality evaluations, but there are competing hypotheses regarding the religiosity of one’s upbringing. Data collection and analyses are in progress.
William E. Davis
William E. Davis
Assistant Professor of Psychology

I am a social and personality psychologist who studies things like authenticity and meaning in life. My work also focuses on efforts to improve psychological science. One of my favorite things about teaching at Wittenberg is that I am able to offer robust research experiences and individualized mentorship to undergraduate students interested in studying psychology.