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  Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies

Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q. D., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., et al. (2019). Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1898): 20190202. Retrieved from 10.1098/rspb.2019.0202.

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 Creators:
Lang, Martin, Author
Purzycki, Benjamin G., Author
Apicella, Coren L., Author
Atkinson, Quentin Douglas1, Author              
Bolyanatz, Alexander, Author
Cohen, Emma, Author
Handley, Carla, Author
Klocova´, Eva Kundtova´, Author
Lesorogol, Carolyn, Author
Mathew, Sarah, Author
McNamara, Rita A., Author
Moya, Cristina, Author
Placek, Caitlyn D., Author
Soler, Montserrat, Author
Vardy, Thomas, Author
Weigel, Jonathan L., Author
Willard, Aiyana K., Author
Xygalatas, Dimitris, Author
Norenzayan, Ara, Author
Henrich, Joseph, Author
Affiliations:
1Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074311              

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Free keywords: punishing gods, cultural evolution, impartiality, religion, parochialism, supernatural punishment, supernatural punishment
 Abstract: The emergence of large-scale cooperation during the Holocene remains a central problem in the evolutionary literature. One hypothesis points to culturally evolved beliefs in punishing, interventionist gods that facilitate the extension of cooperative behaviour toward geographically distant co-religionists. Furthermore, another hypothesis points to such mechanisms being constrained to the religious ingroup, possibly at the expense of religious outgroups. To test these hypotheses, we administered two behavioural experiments and a set of interviews to a sample of 2228 participants from 15 diverse populations. These populations included foragers, pastoralists, horticulturalists, and wage labourers, practicing Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, but also forms of animism and ancestor worship. Using the Random Allocation Game (RAG) and the Dictator Game (DG) in which individuals allocated money between themselves, local and geographically distant co-religionists, and religious outgroups, we found that higher ratings of gods as monitoring and punishing predicted decreased local favouritism (RAGs) and increased resource-sharing with distant co-religionists (DGs). The effects of punishing and monitoring gods on outgroup allocations revealed between-site variability, suggesting that in the absence of intergroup hostility, moralizing gods may be implicated in cooperative behaviour toward outgroups. These results provide support for the hypothesis that beliefs in monitoring and punitive gods help expand the circle of sustainable social interaction, and open questions about the treatment of religious outgroups.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-03-062019-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 10
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: URI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0202
Other: shh1191
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Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  Abbreviation : Proc. R. Soc. B
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Royal Society
Pages: 20190202 Volume / Issue: 286 (1898) Sequence Number: 20190202 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0962-8452
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/110975500577295_2