Perceptions of Religious and Nonreligious Targets: Exploring the Effects of Perceivers' Religious Fundamentalism


Luke Galen, Department of Psychology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI 49401. E-mail:


While research has shown that religious individuals are perceived as being more moral than the nonreligious, the present studies suggest that these findings are affected by in-group bias. Participants low and high in religious fundamentalism (RF) were asked to form an impression of a target's moral and social dimensions. The target's religious identity was presented either explicitly (in Studies 1 and 2) or implicitly (Study 3). Participants high in RF consistently rated the religious target more favorably than the nonreligious target on both dimensions. In contrast, LF individuals' morality ratings did not differ as a function of target religiosity across all 3 studies. Our results suggest that future research exploring the religion–morality link must control for perceiver religiosity.