Study: Less Religious Are More Motivated By Compassion Than Highly Religious : NPR

The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious.

 

 “‘Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,’ said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. ‘The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.