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  1. Witchcraft beliefs and witch hunts: an interdisciplinary explanationKoning, Niek - Human Nature, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article posits an explanation of witchcraft based on developments of subsistence type and social stratification. In small foraging bands, individuals' fear systems evolved to detect deceit and other social dliemmas. Following a transition to farming communities, the fear system could become overstimulated, resulting in accusations of witchcraft. Various factors such as centralization of political control, property rights, and urbanization mark a shift toward more collectivist forms of social paranoia.

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