Threat of divine punishment makes people more generous

“If you came into some unexpected cash, would you keep the money for yourself or give it away to a faraway stranger?”

This isn’t exactly about crowdsourcing/human computation, but does it have implications for it?  The study showed that belief in a god that doles out divine retribution corresponded to greater levels of generosity.  If I’m reading the study correctly, it also shows decreased cheating among such people.  They evoked their god beliefs through various priming mechanisms, such as (in Brazil) having subjects do the task with a Bible and crucifix necklace on the table.  Would the quality of work from Mechnical Turk workers improve if they did the task with a religion-evoking image on the screen, for example?

Summary at Science, original article at Nature.
(Contributor: Haym Hirsh)

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Threat of divine punishment makes people more generous

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