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  1. Behavioural variation in 172 small-scale societies indicates that social learning is the main mode of human adaptationMathew, Sarah - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2015 - 8 Hypotheses

    Inter-group variation is greater in humans than in any other animal, and scholars continue to debate the cause of this diversity. Two competing explanatory models of human variation emphasize either (1) ecological differences and "evoked" culture or (2) population-level effects of cultural transmission. The former emphasizes mechanisms that operate within a single generation, while the latter emphasizes cumulative cultural history operating over many generations. To test these competing models, the authors measured the relative power of ecological variables as compared to culture history to predict behavioral variation in 172 western North American tribes. Culture history is subdivided into culture phylogeny (based on language phylogeny) and spatial distance.

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  2. Gods, rituals, and the moral orderStark, Rodney - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2001 - 2 Hypotheses

    Stark attempts to resituate Tylor's formulation of religion by calling into question Swanson's (1960) and Peregrine's (1996) findings that supernatural sanctions and moral behavior are consistently correlated in small-scale societies. Positing that Swanson's correlations were confounded by variables related to cultural complexity, Stark tests the association of presence of moralizing Gods with cultural complexity explicitly, as well as measures of morality in various nations as provided by the World Values Survey (1990-1991). The robust correlations across cultures noted below, as well as cross-national findings, provide support for the researcher's theory that it is particular conceptions of God rather than participation in rites and rituals which empower religion to sustain complex moral culture.

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  3. Belief in moralizing godsRoes, Frans L. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2003 - 4 Hypotheses

    This article investigates relationships among society size, war and conflict, preferred habitats, and belief in moralizing gods. The authors discuss morality and collective action in the face of natural disasters and competition for resources, theorizing that beliefs in moralizing gods could facilitate such cooperation.

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  4. God's punishment and public goodsJohnson, Dominic D.P. - Human Nature, 2005 - 9 Hypotheses

    This study tests the relationship between supernatural punishment (indexed by the importance of moralizing "high gods") and several proxy measures of cooperation. Results suggest that the presence of high gods is associated with money and credit, credit source, community size, jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the local community, and sanctions.

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  5. The birth of the gods; the origin of primitive beliefsSwanson, Guy E. - , 1960 - 10 Hypotheses

    This book investigates the origins of supernatural and religious beliefs. The author tests associations between various types of beliefs (e.g. witchcraft, monotheism) and various societal characteristics (e.g. mobility, class stratification). Many hypotheses are supported. Theoretical discussion is included, and the author posits that “the belief in a particular kind of spirit springs from experiences with a type of persisting sovereign group whose area of jurisdiction corresponds to that attributed to the spirit” (175).

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  6. Supernatural punishment and individual social compliance across culturesBourrat, Pierrick - Religion, Brain & Behavior, 2011 - 3 Hypotheses

    Derived from the fear of supernatural punishment hypothesis, this paper explores whether the prosocial attitude of a group or individuals will increase with the threat of punishment from a high god or visible supernatural agent, such as sorcerers and witches. The author found that fear of supernatural punishment did not affect prosocial behavior and suggested that religious beliefs may give rise to institutions with the task of enforcing social compliance rather than direct control.

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  7. The size of societies, stratification, and belief in high gods supportive of human moralityRoes, Frans L. - Politics and the Life Sciences, 1995 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article examines the belief in high gods supportive of human morality. Empirical analyses suggest that this belief is associated with larger society size independent of region and social stratification. While stratification is also associated with a belief in high gods supportive of human morality, this relationship was not independent of regional differences or society size.

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  8. Co-wife conflict and co-operationJankowiak, William - Ethnology, 2005 - 7 Hypotheses

    This article offers an exploratory study of the structural and psychological influences related co-wife conflict and cooperation.

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  9. Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross cultural examinationPurzycki, Benjamin Grant - PLos ONE, 2018 - 5 Hypotheses

    This article is a quantitative analysis of 592 participants from 8 societies. The study examines a number of theories about what predicts moralistic religions, including life history theory. Findings suggest that there is no evident relationship between these life history predictions and the religious beliefs regarding moralism.

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  10. Moralizing gods and the arms-race hypothesis of human society growthRoes, Frans L. - The Open Social Science Journal, 2009 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article discusses the ability of evolutionary theory to generate new hypotheses about human social behavior. Four hyotheses from a previous study are used to support these ideas.

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