New article testing the influence of moralizing gods on intragroup and intergroup cooperation

8 March 2019

Do beliefs in omniscient and punitive moralizing gods contribute promote ingroup cooperation? And what about their effect on intergroup cooperation with people who belong to other religion?

We are providing some answers to these questions in our new paper called “Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies". Together, in two experiments with 2228 participants from 15 populations, the ratings of gods as monitoring and punishing predicted resource-sharing with co-religionists. Sharing with outgroups varied between sites: in the absence of intergroup hostility, the results suggest that moralizing gods may promote cooperation with outgroups.

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