Religion and Sociality


  • Dimitris Xygalatas University of Connecticut




religion, social behavior, pro-sociality, anti-sociality


Editor's Introduction.

Author Biography

Dimitris Xygalatas, University of Connecticut

Dimitris Xygalatas holds a joint position between the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, where he is directing the Experimental Anthropology Lab. He has previously held positions at the universities of Princeton and Masaryk, where he served as Director of the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion. His main areas of interest are experimental anthropology and the experimental study of religion, and much of his work has focused on the practice of extreme rituals around the world. He has conducted several years of ethnographic research in Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, and Mauritius and has pioneered new methods, integrating ethnographic and experimental approaches in field research.


Ahmed, A. M., and O. Salas. 2013. “Religious Context and Prosociality: An Experimental Study from Valparaíso, Chile.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52(3): 627–637. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12045

Aveyard, M. E. 2014. “A Call to Honesty: Extending Religious Priming of Moral Behavior to Middle Eastern Muslims.” PLoS ONE 9(7): e99447. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0099447

Chan, K. Q., E. M. W. Tong and Y. L. Tan. 2014. “Taking a Leap of Faith: Reminders of God Lead to Greater Risk Taking.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 5(8), 901–909. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1948550614537309

Chaves, M. 2010. “Rain Dances in the Dry Season: Overcoming the Religious Congruence Fallacy.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(1):1–14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01489.x

Galen, L. W. 2012. “Does Religious Belief Promote Prosociality? A Critical Examination.” Psychological Bulletin 138(5): 876–906. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0028251

Henrich, J., S. J. Heine and A. Norenzayan. 2010. “The Weirdest People in the World?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33(2–3): 61–83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X0999152X

Malhotra, D. 2010. “(When) Are Religious People Nicer? Religious Salience and the “Sunday Effect” on Pro-Social Behavior.” Judgment and Decision Making 5(2): 138–143.

Mazar, N., O. Amir and D. Ariely. 2008. “The Dishonesty of Honest People: A Theory of Self-Concept Maintenance.” Journal of Marketing Research 45(6): 633–644. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkr.45.6.633

Mckay, R., J. Herold and H. Whitehouse. 2012. “Catholic Guilt? Recall of Confession Promotes Prosocial Behavior.” Religion, Brain & Behavior 3(3): 201–209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2153599X.2012.739410

Norenzayan, A. and A. F. Shariff. 2008. “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Prosociality.” Science 322: 58–62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1158757

Randolph-Seng, B. and M. E. Nielsen. 2007. “Honesty: One Effect of Primed Religious Representations.” The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 17(4): 303–315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10508610701572812

Saroglou, V. 2012. “Is Religion Not Prosocial At All? Comment on Galen 2012. Psychological Bulletin 138(5): 907–912. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0028927

Saroglou, V., O. Corneille and P. Van Cappellen. 2009. “‘Speak, Lord, Your Servant Is Listening’: Religious Priming Activates Submissive Thoughts and Behaviors.” International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 19(3): 143–154.

Shariff, A. F. and A. Norenzayan. 2007. “God Is Watching You.” Psychological Science 18(9): 803–809. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01983.x

Sosis, R. and B. Ruffle. 2003. “Religious Ritual and Cooperation: Testing for a Relationship on Israeli Religious and Secular Kibbutzim.” Current Anthropology, 44(5): 713–722. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/379260

Stavrova, O. and P. Siegers. 2013. “Religious Prosociality and Morality Across Cultures: How Social Enforcement of Religion Shapes the Effects of Personal Religiosity on Prosocial and Moral Attitudes and Behaviors.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 40(3): 315–333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167213510951

Tsang, J.-A., A. Schulwitz and R. D. Carlisle. 2012. “An Experimental Test of the Relationship Between Religion and Gratitude.” Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 4(1): 40–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0025632

Xygalatas, D. 2012. “Effects of Religious Setting on Cooperative Behavior: A Case Study From Mauritius.” Religion, Brain & Behavior 3(2): 91–102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2153599X.2012.724547

Xygalatas, D., E. Kundurová Kloková, J. Cigan, R. Kundt, P. Mano, S. Kotherová, S. Wallot, M. Kanovsky and P. Mitkidis. forthcoming. Location, Location, Location: Effects of Cross-Religious Primes on Prosocial Behaviour.




How to Cite

Xygalatas, D. (2014). Editorial: Religion and Sociality. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 2(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1558/jcsr.v2i1.1