There will be a departmental talk next Tuesday on 22 Mar (4pm) by Chan Kai Qin. More details are appended below. This talk will be held in AS4/02-06. For more information on talks, please visit the departmental blog at http://blog.nus.edu.sg/psychology/.
Title: Taking a Leap of Faith: Reminders of God Lead to Greater Risk Taking
Religion is a fundamental human concern. Recent psychological models of religion suggest that religious beliefs provide an external form of control. Independently, other research has found that increases in a sense of personal control leads people to adopt riskier strategies. Hence, we hypothesized that if so, reminders of God would predict greater risk taking behavior. In two studies, we manipulated reminders of God using various means and found that such reminders lead people to take greater risks, as though people were literally “taking a leap of faith.” Our results are hence consistent with psychological models of religion, but seem to be at odds with numerous survey research that has found more religious people to be less risk seeking. We tackle this inconsistency in our third study by looking at how religion, morality, norms, and risk taking are related. Implications to the religious landscape of Singapore will be discussed.
Kai Qin is currently finishing his Master’s thesis at NUS under the supervision of Dr Eddie Tong. This talk will be based on his master thesis and he will be presenting portions of it at the Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Antonio, Texas, on 29 Jan 2011. His main areas of research include theories of embodied cognition, regulatory focus theory, and the relationship determinants of risk taking. He also has a keen interest in the history of psychology, and is currently applying to a number of universities in the US for his PhD.