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  1. Climate Variability, Drought, and the Belief that High Gods Are Associated with Weather in Nonindustrial SocietiesEmber, Carol R. - Weather, Climate, and Society, 2021 - 5 Hypotheses

    The authors of this study explore the relationship between climate variability and beliefs that high gods are associated with the weather. As predicted, they find significant correlations between these beliefs and dry climates. They then evaluate how these findings contribute to their previous understanding of resource stress and its association to beliefs in high gods.

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  2. The cognitive and cultural foundations of moral behaviorPisor, Anne C. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2018 - 2 Hypotheses

    In this two-part study, researchers first collect data from 600 people from 8 different societies in an effort to examine the character of morality cross-culturally. In the second part, participants play a game to detect honesty and responses are related to conception of morality and religious beliefs. Researchers posit that there is a cooperative nature to conception of morality and that moral culture is related to impact upon one's social life, but that this conceptualization of morality only weakly predicts cooperative behavio. The religious beliefs are stronger predictors.

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Alliances and ritual ecstasy: human responses to resource stressHayden, Brian - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1987 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article hypothesizes that ritual ecstasy was selected for as a way for hunter-gatherers to cope with resource uncertainty by unifying separate groups. Results support this hypothesis and suggest a relationship between resource stress and deities as well as dependence on animals and presence of zoomorphic deities.

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  7. Factor analysis of a cross-cultural sampleMcNett, Charles W., Jr. - Behavior Science Notes, 1973 - 3 Hypotheses

    This study employs factor analysis to develop a settlement pattern scale of cultural complexity. Political, economic, and religious factors are identified and implications for the structure of the cultural system are discussed.

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  8. Economic and political antecedents of monotheism: a cross-cultural studyUnderhill, Ralph - American Journal of Sociology, 1975 - 2 Hypotheses

    Examines the cross-cultural correlates of belief in a high god or supreme creator. The results are compared to and found to be inconsistent with the theoretical perspectives of Swanson (1960) and Durkheim (1912).

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  9. The birth of the gods revisited: a partial replication of guy swanson's (1960) cross-cultural study of religionPeregrine, Peter N. - Cross-Cultural Research, 1996 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article retests several hypotheses from Swanson’s (1960) study on the origins of religious belief. The author finds support for an association between high gods and large communities, multiple levels of political hierarchy, and social differentiation. No support is found for Swanson’s other hypotheses concerning polytheism, ancestral spirits, reincarnation, the soul, witchcraft, and morality and their relations to social, political, and economic variables.

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  10. The moralization bias of gods’ minds: a cross-cultural testPurzycki, Benjamin Grant - Religion, Brain, and Behavior, 2022 - 8 Hypotheses

    In this study, the authors inspect the relationship between religion, morality, and cooperation by examining the extent to which people associate their deities with moral concern. Using data from 2,228 individuals in 15 different field sites, they find that on average, people tend to ascribe at least some moral concern to their deities, and this effect is stable even after controlling for the influence of explicitly moralistic deities that these societies also worship. The authors also find that ratings of moral concern are not necessarily very high, even for deities that are typically considered to be moralistic, and that there is individual-level variation in the degree of moral concern attributed to deities. In addition, there is an individual-level correlation between how morally interested two selected deities are conceived to be and that being male or more educated decreases the likelihood of associating deities with moral concern. These findings challenge the longstanding belief that belief in moralistic deities is unique to certain societies or religions and instead suggest that the association between deities and moral concern is more widespread and variable, and suggest that the moral character of gods may be tied to cooperation within societies.

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