Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Kyle Conlon, PhD

Second Advisor

Lauren Brewer, PhD

Third Advisor

Nathan Sparkman, PhD

Fourth Advisor

John C. Pruit, PhD


Human beings are fundamentally social animals motivated by a need to establish and maintain close social relationships. The creation of these relationships inevitably leads to the creation of groups, along with a desire for power as a method of determining how resources are to be allocated within these groups. Most groups are characterized by individuals who belong to the ingroup and those who are relegated to an outgroup, and one powerful motivator of ingroup favoritism is religious affiliation. Although research has shown that feelings of low power increase the drive to socially affiliate, research has not yet explored how religious belief influences the relationship between power and social affiliation. The current study explored how Christian participants primed with low power react to potential social partners when they belong to their religious ingroup or a differing religious outgroup. Findings indicated that when compared to a neutral control, Christian participants elected to sit farther away from both a Muslim and atheist who were ostensibly occupying a chair at the far end of a table. Despite the increased need for social affiliation when experiencing low power, the presence of a religious outgroup member may inhibit an individual’s affiliative motivation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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