The moralization bias of gods’ minds: a cross-cultural test

Religion, Brain, and Behavior Vol/Iss. 12(1-2) Taylor and Francis Published In Pages: 38-60
By Purzycki, Benjamin Grant, Willard, Aiyana K., Klocová, Eva Kundtová, Apicella, Coren, Atkinson, Quentin D., Bolyanatz, Alexander, Cohen, Emma, Handley, Carla, Henrich, Joseph, Lang, Martin, Lesorogol, Carolyn, Mathew, Sarah, McNamara, Rita A., Moya, Cristina, Norenzayan, Ara, Placek, Caitlyn D., Soler, Montserrat, Vardy, Tom, Weigel, Jonathan, Xygalatas, Dimitris, Ross, Cody T.


Individuals will ascribe moral attributes to their local deities.


Test uses a confidence interval; the model predicts that there is a 63% chance of moral values being ascribed to local deities, with a 90% credibility interval of 52%-75%. When sex, age, education, and the co-variance with moralizing deities are accounted for, the proportions are 64.3%, 58.9%, and 60.6%.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Predictive modelSupportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Moral concern of local deityDependentEthics, Religious Beliefs