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Prosociality and Pentecostalism in the D.R. Congo

Kapepula, Gilbert Tshiebue, Konshi, Max Mbosho and Weigel, Jonathan L. (2022) Prosociality and Pentecostalism in the D.R. Congo. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 12 (1-2). 150 - 170. ISSN 2153-599X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/2153599X.2021.2006289


This paper explores an empirical puzzle: individuals in urban D.R. Congo who were unsure if they would be able to provide sufficient food for their families gave more of their money away to anonymous receivers in behavioral games. They were especially likely to share money evenly. We argue that this surprising prosocial behavior reflects sharing norms associated with informal insurance, for which more materially insecure individuals presumably have higher demand. We further argue that such sharing norms are sustained in urban Congo by Pentecostal churches, a nexus of risk-spreading in this context. The same group of highly insecure individuals is more likely to participate in public religious ceremonies—but not private ones—and to share money evenly in behavioral games. Moreover, the gap in money sharing between individuals facing high and low insecurity is largest when participants are primed with Christian images.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 12:24
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 05:21

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