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  1. Cultural macroevolution mattersGray, Russell D. - PNAS, 2017 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers sampled 106 Austronesian societies from the Pulotu database to study the way political complexity evolves in relation to religious beliefs and practices. Specifically, they attempt to test the causal theory that supernatural punishment played a causal role in the emergence of large, complex societies. They use phylogenetic models to control for Galton's Problem in testing the supernatural punishment hypothesis in an effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing cross-cultural datasets in evaluating evolutionary change in human social organization.

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  2. 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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  3. Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world historyWhitehouse, Harvey - Nature, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers tackle the moral gods hypothesis which proposes that moral gods enabled large-scale societies to evolve. They use 414 societies spanning 10,000 years in Seshat: Global History Databank and code 51 measures of social complexity and four measures of moral gods. The findings of the present study challenge the moral gods hypothesis. In the societies studied, complex societies appear to precede moral gods rather than the inverse of moral gods preceding complex societies.

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  4. 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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  5. Oaths, autonomic ordeals, and powerRoberts, John M. - Cross-Cultural Approaches: Readings in Comparative Research, 1967 - 14 Hypotheses

    This chapter examines the presence of oaths and autonomic ordeals in relation to various socioeconomic variables. Several hypotheses are presented, all are supported.

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  6. The ecology of religious beliefsBotero, Carlos A. - PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), 2014 - 1 Hypotheses

    Belief in moralizing high gods (MHGs) has been theorized as a response to unfavorable environments, as a way to normalize behavior. In this study, researchers test the theory by creating a model for predicting the distribution of MHGs. They run many alternative models, testing the effects of resource abundance, climate stability, and pertinent social factors on the occurrence of belief in MHGs. Based on the ten most supported models, they create an average model that predicts MHGs within cultures with “excellent” accuracy.

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  7. Resource stress predicts changes in religious belief and increases in sharing behaviorSkoggard, Ian - Human Nature, 2020 - 6 Hypotheses

    Using multilevel modeling and society-level regressions as well as mediational path modeling, the authors test two alternative models that consider how resource stress, religious beliefs, and beyond-household food and labor sharing may be related. The resource stress model suggests that high resource stress has two consequences: 1) that such stress may lead to beliefs that gods and spirits are associated with weather and 2) that resource stress leads to more sharing. Furthermore, this model suggests that the relationship between resource stress and sharing is not mediated by god beliefs. The alternative model considered, the moralizing high god model, suggests that resource stress will lead to more sharing but it is mediated by moralizing high gods. Before testing the path models, the authors first consider the relationships between resource stress and beliefs about high gods, superior gods, and minor spirits involvement with weather. Since the results were strongest for high gods, the path models focused on high gods. The results largely support the resource stress model rather than the high god moralizing model.

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  8. Political complexity and village community: test of an hypothesisBefu, Harumi - Anthropological Quarterly, 1966 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article examines how an increase in overall societal complexity affects local political offices. Findings suggest that a more complex society has a slight tendency to develop more political offices within the community, but there is greater support for an increased number of jurisdictional levels within the community.

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  9. 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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  10. A hologeistic study of family structure and sentiment, supernatural beliefs, and drunkennessSchaefer, James Michael - , 1972 - 12 Hypotheses

    This study tests a broad hypothesis that alcohol is employed to relieve anxiety and feelings of powerlessness. Frequency of drunkenness and drunken brawling were associated with several variables, including supernatural beliefs, political systems, settlement patterns, and division of labor.

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