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Authoritarian and benevolent god representations and the two sides of prosociality

  • Kathryn A. Johnson (a1) and Adam B. Cohen (a1)

The Big Gods model focuses on belief in an authoritarian God as a psychological mechanism that inhibits antisocial behavior and facilitates the formation of tight, cohesive groups. Recent empirical evidence suggests, however, that belief in a benevolent God is more likely to inspire helping and inclusivity. Both kinds of beliefs are necessary to explain the development of large-scale societies.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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