Pro- and Assortative-sociality in the Formation and Maintenance of Religious Groups
Keywords:Religious prosociality, religious assortative sociality, cognitive science of religion, experimental cognitive studies
Studies of evolved mechanisms and strategies supporting religious prosociality dominate the experimental agendas of cognitive scientists of religion while neglecting religion's antisocial, assortative consequences. We question, first of all, the assumed correlation between religion and prosociality; second the hypothesis that religious prosociality plays a role in the formation of large-scale societies, as advanced by some; the neglect of the historical record in experimental design and in the assessment of experimental results; and finally, suggest that funding sources more friendly to a positive view of religions explains the research bias supporting religious prosociality.
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