Authors: Cymone Wong and Lidia Suárez
Abstract: The present study investigated the priming effects of different supernatural agents (God and ghost) on cheating behaviour. One hundred and twenty participants were invited to solve riddles, with each riddle presented on an individual card. Participants were told that the participant who solved the most riddles would win SGD100. Also, the participants were informed that the answers to the riddles were on the other side of the cards, but they had to refrain from turning the cards over. A one-way mirror was used to observe cheating rates. The results indicated that participants who had seen the words God and ghost cheated significantly less than those in the control condition (who were exposed to the nonword gheds). Moreover, level of religiosity did not affect priming. The results were discussed in terms of the supernatural punishment hypothesis, the supernatural surveillance hypothesis, and the automaticity of social behaviour hypothesis.
Keywords: cheating; priming; supernatural surveillance; supernatural punishment; automaticity of social behaviour