New publication on religious badges and interpersonal trust
In everyday life, humans must constantly make decisions whom to trust and with whom to cooperate. But how can people recognize reliable cooperative partners?
In our new paper published in Evolutionary Psychology, we hypothesized that participants will choose as cooperative partners people who display markers of religious commitment. Since religions have been known to regulate cooperation by imposing norms and moral obligations on their members, signaling commitment to such norms by adoring religious badges may effectively help to find reliable cooperative partners.
In our experimental manipulation in Mauritius, we photoshopped religious badges (Hindu and Christian) on some pre-selected faces and let participants to choose faces for cooperative exchange in an economic game. We found that while faces adoring religious badges were trusted more on average, this effect held only for faces that displayed commitment to religions congruent with participants' affiliation. This is in contrast with previous studies on US undergraduate samples that find religious badges increase trust even across religious divides. Find more in the full article: https://journals.sagepub.com/…/full/10.1177/1474704918817644.
A prestigious award goes to Martin Lang
Martin Lang has been awarded the Rector's Award for Outstanding Research Results Achieved by Young Scientists under 35 in social sciences and humanities.
A new theoretical article about the difference between the theory of costly signaling and CREDs with application on religious phenomena
A new article has just been published in Human Ethology, in which our PhD students explain the relation between two theories of religious displays – the costly signaling theory and the credibility enhancing displays theory (CREDs).
New article testing the influence of moralizing gods on intragroup and intergroup cooperation
Our new paper in which we test on cross-cultural sample whether beliefs in omniscient and punitive moralizing gods contribute to the scaling up of cooperative societies and whether they apply also beyond co-religionist circles as far as to religious outgroups has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
New Publication on Identity Fusion Theory
Our new paper in which dr. Ben Purzycki (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Lipsko) and Martin Lang are testing the identity fusion theory on a cross-cultural data set is out in Cognition.