Does religious belief make you more generous and trusting? An interesting piece of research from Nottingham University Business School suggests that it does – but only towards your co-religionists. On this basis, the authors conclude that religion should not be "imposed" in schools.
I don't see why, since the other headline finding is that while religion and shared ethnicity increase generosity and trust within their "ingroups", they don't actually increase discrimination towards "outgroups". This is established by running the experiments both when the participants are identified to each other by religion or ethnicity and when they are "blind", so to say. Since it was all done at computer terminals the experimenters were able to control this knowledge.
The two most interesting things about this study are that it was conducted by economists, and that they used Malaysian students for their guinea pigs, rather than the more usual Anglo-Saxon students chosen in most studies of this sort.
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