21 found
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  1.  60
    Ritual, Emotion, and Sacred Symbols.Candace S. Alcorta & Richard Sosis - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):323-359.
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  2.  26
    Why Aren’T We All Hutterites?Richard Sosis - 2003 - Human Nature 14 (2):91-127.
    In this paper I explore the psychology of ritual performance and present a simple graphical model that clarifies several issues in William Irons’s theory of religion as a “hard-to-fake” sign of commitment. Irons posits that religious behaviors or rituals serve as costly signals of an individual’s commitment to a religious group. Increased commitment among members of a religious group may facilitate intra-group cooperation, which is argued to be the primary adaptive benefit of religion. Here I propose a proximate explanation for (...)
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  3. What Does God Know? Supernatural Agents' Access to Socially Strategic and Non-Strategic Information.Benjamin G. Purzycki, Daniel N. Finkel, John Shaver, Nathan Wales, Adam B. Cohen & Richard Sosis - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (5):846-869.
    Current evolutionary and cognitive theories of religion posit that supernatural agent concepts emerge from cognitive systems such as theory of mind and social cognition. Some argue that these concepts evolved to maintain social order by minimizing antisocial behavior. If these theories are correct, then people should process information about supernatural agents’ socially strategic knowledge more quickly than non-strategic knowledge. Furthermore, agents’ knowledge of immoral and uncooperative social behaviors should be especially accessible to people. To examine these hypotheses, we measured response-times (...)
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  4.  3
    Religion, Emotion, and Symbolic Ritual: The Evolution of an Adaptive Complex.Candace S. Alcorta & Richard Sosis - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):323-359.
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  5. De Ce Nu Suntem Cu Toţii Huteriţi? Teoria Semnalului Costisitor Şi Comportamentul Religios.Richard Sosis - 2003 - Human Nature 14 (2):91-127.
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  6.  12
    Bargaining Theory and Cooperative Fishing Participation on Ifaluk Atoll.Richard Sosis, Sharon Feldstein & Kim Hill - 1998 - Human Nature 9 (2):163-203.
    In this paper we examine the merit of bargaining theory, in its economic and ecological forms, as a model for understanding variation in the frequency of participation in cooperative fishing among men of Ifaluk atoll in Micronesia. Two determinants of bargaining power are considered: resource control and a bargainer’s utility gain for his expected share of the negotiated resource. Several hypotheses which relte cultural and life-course parameters to bargaining power are tested against data on the frequency of cooperative sail-fishing participation. (...)
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  7. The Socio-Religious Brain: A Developmental Model.Daniel N. Finkel, Paul Swartwout & Richard Sosis - 2010 - In Social Brain, Distributed Mind. pp. 283.
  8.  5
    Moral Intuitions and the Religious System: An Adaptationist Account.Jordan Kiper & Richard Sosis - 2014 - Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 1 (2):172.
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  9.  60
    Is Religion Adaptive?Richard Sosis & Candace Alcorta - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):749-750.
    We argue that religious ritual's ability to facilitate communication and the pervasiveness of its basic characteristics across societies, as well as its precedence in other social species, suggests that religious behavior is more than a mere by-product. Religious constructs constitute associationally conditioned mnemonics that trigger neuroendocrine responses which motivate religious behaviors. The adaptive value of these constructs resides in their utility as memorable and emotionally evocative primes.
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  10.  7
    How Does Male Ritual Behavior Vary Across the Lifespan?John H. Shaver & Richard Sosis - 2014 - Human Nature 25 (1):136-160.
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  11.  6
    Willpower Through Cultural Tools: An Example From Alcoholics Anonymous.Pamela Acquaro & Richard Sosis - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    We argue that a closer look at the practices and tools that humans use to support willpower, and the cultural contexts in which they are employed, can broaden the applicability of Ainslie's theory and facilitate the development of more effective self-control techniques. To support our argument, we examine Alcoholics Anonymous's method of temptation resistance known as “playing the tape through”.
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  12. Breaking the Wrong Spell.Richard Sosis - forthcoming - Free Inquiry.
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  13.  15
    Examining the Relationship Between Life Expectancy, Reproduction, and Educational Attainment.Nicola L. Bulled & Richard Sosis - 2010 - Human Nature 21 (3):269-289.
    Life history theory aims to explain the relationship between life events, recognizing that the fertility and growth schedules of organisms are dependent on environmental conditions and an organism’s ability to extract resources from its environment. Using models from life history theory, we predict life expectancy to be positively correlated with educational investments and negatively correlated with adolescent reproduction and total fertility rates. Analyses of UN data from 193 countries support these predictions and demonstrate that, although variation is evident across world (...)
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  14.  9
    Four Advantages of a Systemic Approach to the Study of Religion.Richard Sosis - 2020 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 42 (1):142-157.
    There has been increasing interest in the evolutionary study of religion, but perfunctory fractionalization has limited our ability to explain how and why religion evolved, evaluate religion’s current adaptive value, and assess its role in contemporary decision-making. To move beyond piecemeal analyses of religion, I have recently offered an integrative evolutionary framework that approaches religions as adaptive systems. I argue that religions are an adaptive complex of traits consisting of cognitive, neurological, affective, behavioral, and developmental features that are organized into (...)
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  15.  40
    Ritual Harmony: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Music.Candace S. Alcorta, Richard Sosis & Daniel Finkel - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):576-577.
    Juslin & Vll (J&V) advance our understanding of the proximate mechanisms underlying emotional responses to music, but fail to integrate their findings into a comprehensive evolutionary model that addresses the adaptive functions of these responses. Here we offer such a model by examining the ontogenetic relationship between music, ritual, and symbolic abstraction and their role in facilitating social coordination and cooperation.
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  16.  14
    Ideology as Cooperative Affordance.Joseph Bulbulia & Richard Sosis - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):515-516.
    McKay & Dennett (M&D) observe that beliefs need not be true in order to evolve. We connect this insight with Schelling's work on cooperative commitment to suggest that some beliefs are best approached as social goals. We explain why a social-interactive perspective is important to explaining the dynamics of belief formation and revision among situated partners.
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  17.  26
    Insights From Ifaluk: Food Sharing Among Cooperative Fishers.Richard Sosis - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):568-569.
    The fish-sharing patterns on Ifaluk Atoll underscore several limitations of the explanations of food sharing offered by Gurven and suggest that non-foraging labor activities may provide insights into reciprocity and punishment relevant for understanding food-sharing patterns. I also argue that future food-sharing studies should focus on signaling rather than resource holding potential (RHP).
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  18.  12
    Sharing, Consumption, and Patch Choice on Ifaluk Atoll.Richard Sosis - 2001 - Human Nature 12 (3):221-245.
    Anthropological tests of patch choice models from optimal foraging theory have primarily employed acquisition rates as the currency of the model. Where foragers share their returns, acquisition rates may not be similar to consumption rates and thus may not be an appropriate currency to use when modeling foraging decisions. Indeed, on Ifaluk Atoll the distribution patterns of fish vary by fishing method and location. Previous analyses of Ifaluk patch choice decisions suggested that if Ifaluk fishers are trying to maximize their (...)
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  19.  10
    Form and Function in Religious Signaling Under Pathogen Stress.Paul Swartwout, Benjamin Grant Purzycki & Richard Sosis - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (2):92-93.
    The evolution of religious traditions may be partially explained by out-group avoidance due to pathogen stress. However, many religious rituals may increase rather than decrease performers' susceptibility to infection. Moreover, religions often spread through proselytizing, which requires out-group interaction; and in other cases, the benefits of economic exchange increase religious pluralism and social interactions with out-groups.
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  20.  7
    Why Religion is Better Conceived as a Complex System Than a Norm-Enforcing Institution.Richard Sosis & Jordan Kiper - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):275-276.
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  21.  2
    Toward a More Comprehensive Theory of Self-Sacrificial Violence.Jordan Kiper & Richard Sosis - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    We argue that limiting the theory of extreme self-sacrifice to two determinants, namely, identity fusion and group threats, results in logical and conceptual difficulties. To strengthen Whitehouse's theory, we encourage a more holistic approach. In particular, we suggest that the theory include exogenous sociopolitical factors and constituents of the religious system as additional predictors of extreme self-sacrifice.
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