I predicted that the appeal-to-charity message (but not the appeal-to-compete message) would be more likely to elicit additional bids among those who were high rather than low in religiosity, but that this effect would be limited to Sundays ... The pattern of results is consistent with our hypothesis. On Sundays, whereas religious bidders were 40% likely to re-bid in response to an appeal to charity, non-religious bidders were only 11.8% likely to re-bid in response to such appeals. Notably, on other days of the week, re-bidding in response to charity-appeals was almost identical among religious (25%) and non-religious bidders (27%), strongly suggesting that religious individuals are not more pro-social in general; they respond to appeals for help more so than non-religious individuals only when their religion is salient to them.
Simply put, when people have been primed by religious services earlier in
the day, they are more likely to respond to appeals to
charity. As Malhotra points out, these "appeals for pro-social behavior
depended not simply on the religiosity of the individual (regular vs.
non-regular worshipers)," but on how recently they had attended services. That somewhat contradicts the "long-held belief that religious individuals
are inherently more pro-social."