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Can religion motivate people to blow the whistle?

Can religion motivate people to blow the whistle?

Haq, Shoaib Ul, Jaffer, Muhammad Asif and Rizvi, Wajid Hussain (2024) Can religion motivate people to blow the whistle? Archive for the Psychology of Religion. pp. 1-25. ISSN 0084-6724 (Print), 1573-6121 (Online) (doi:

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While major religions espouse moral values encouraging prosocial behavior, the empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of religious influence on such behavior, as proposed by the religious pro-sociality hypothesis, remains inconclusive. To explore this further, we conducted two studies to test this hypothesis in Pakistan, a Muslim-majority Asian nation, focusing on whistleblowing as a prosocial behavior. The first study gathered cross-sectional data from 323 undergraduate business students in Karachi, Pakistan, utilizing hypothetical scenarios of academic cheating and bank embezzlement. Participants completed a scenario-based questionnaire assessing intrinsic religiosity, personality traits, and whistleblowing intentions. Measures were adapted for the Muslim context, with intrinsic religiosity assessed using the Age Universal Intrinsic-Extrinsic (AUIE) scale and personality traits measured using the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) scale. Regression analysis of these data revealed that while intrinsic religiosity significantly predicted whistleblowing intentions in the academic cheating scenario, it did not do so in the bank embezzlement scenario. Furthermore, multiple regression modeling to test moderating effects of personality traits did not yield significant results for either scenario. The second study employed an experimental design to observe actual whistleblowing behavior among 85 undergraduate business students in Karachi, Pakistan. Participants were randomly assigned to either a religious or a neutral condition, aiming to assess the impact of intrinsic religiosity on whistleblowing behavior. The experiment used a cover story which involved a confederate cheating during an intelligence quotient (IQ) test. The purpose of this design was to examine whether the participant, acting as the sole witness to wrongdoing, would intervene and blow the whistle. Data analysis using logistic regression indicated that intrinsic religiosity did not significantly predict whistleblowing behavior across both the experimental and control conditions. These contrasting results highlight the complexity of whistleblowing, emphasizing its subjective nature and the influence of social dynamics on behavior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: conscientiousness; extraversion; intrinsic religiosity; Islam; pro-sociality; religion; religious priming; whistleblowing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 11:59

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