BIGSSS, Jacobs University
Tel.: +49 421 200 3966
South Hall, Room: 311
Regular Ph.D. Fellow, Field C, Cohort 2015
Psychology of emotions
Psychology of religion
Gamification in education & daily life tasks
Philosophy of science
Beyond distrust: are meta-ethical beliefs the key to understanding anti-atheist prejudice?
The present dissertation is focused on the analysis of anti-atheist prejudice in Poland, one of the most religious countries worldwide. In the thesis, I present a novel synthesis of the current theoretical framework of anti-atheist research (religious prosociality hypothesis, Norenzayan & Shariff, 2008; sociofunctional approach to prejudice, Cottrell & Neuberg, 2005) with a notion of meta-ethical beliefs. Specifically, I propose that meta-ethical beliefs rooted in the Divine Command Theory (of which the main assertion is that what is right and wrong is determined by the will of God, Adams, 1979) are closely connected to atheist distrust, the core component of anti-atheist prejudice (Gervais, Shariff, & Norenzayan, 2011). Four studies have been conducted within the framework of the thesis, one of which was devoted to the validation of a meta-ethical beliefs questionnaire, developed for the purpose of the dissertation. The findings highlight the importance of both beliefs on divine origins of morality and distrust towards atheists with regard to the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and anti-atheist prejudice. This suggests that perception of morality, and not only perception of atheists themselves, is crucial to anti-atheism research. Furthermore, evidence for mutual religion-based prejudice (anti-theist & anti-atheist) has been found, the dynamics of which will have to be accounted for in the future studies.