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Big Gods: Extended prosociality or group binding?

  • Luke W. Galen (a1)

Big Gods are described as having a “prosocial” effect. However, this conflates parochialism (group cohesion) with cooperation extended to strangers or out-group members. An examination of the cited experimental studies indicates that religion is actually associated with increased within-group parochialism, rather than extended or universal prosociality, and that the same general mechanisms underlie both religious and secular effects.

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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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