The Loh Down On Science

Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes. Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh

Collection Plate

by The Loh Down On Science

Psychologists say that just thinking about a higher power can convince people to give and give.

What? Multi-millionaire television evangelists using. . . tricks?.

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

And with an explanation for the hypnotic power of our televangelists. Beyond the hair.

University of British Columbia psychologists say that just THINKING ABOUT a higher power helps convince people to empty their wallets.

Even if they don't believe in God.

C'mon, you ask, how did they test THAT?

Word Games.

The psychologists gave two groups of people words to unscramble. One group got religious words like spirit, prophet, God, and sacred. The other? Random, non-religious words.

Then the members of both groups were handed ten bucks and asked how much they'd donate to total strangers.

Subjects who'd unscrambled words associated with religion were three times MORE likely to dole out at least half their loot.

This could explain collection plates. Then again, it might mean we are especially generous after subtle reminders that big brother might be watching.

Because when the experiment was repeated using words like "civic, JURY, court, and POLICE," the results were nearly identical.

And yes our science program CAN use more money. Thank you!

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