Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-6d856f89d9-5pczc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-16T07:32:18.041Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Religion and Morality

from Part II - Domains of Beliefs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2022

Julien Musolino
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Joseph Sommer
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Pernille Hemmer
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Get access


Image of the first page of this content. For PDF version, please use the ‘Save PDF’ preceeding this image.'
The Cognitive Science of Belief
A Multidisciplinary Approach
, pp. 233 - 276
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Barrett, J. L. (2000) Exploring the natural foundations of religion. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(1), 2934.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Barrett, J. L. & Keil, F. C. (1996) Conceptualizing a nonnatural entity: Anthropomorphism in God concepts. Cognitive Psychology, 31, 219247.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Barth, F. (1975) Ritual and knowledge among the Baktaman of New Guinea. Universitetsforlaget, Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Baumard, N. & Boyer, P. (2013) Explaining moral religions. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17, 272280. Scholar
Bellah, R. N. (2011) Religion in human evolution: from the Paleolithic to the axial age. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Bloch, M. (2008) Why religion is nothing special but is central. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B Biological Sciences, 363(1499), 20552061.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boyer, P. (1994) Cognitive constraints on cultural representations: natural ontologies and religious ideas. In Hirschfeld, L. A., & Gelman, S. (Eds.). Mapping the mind: domain-specificity in culture and cognition (pp. 391411). Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyer, P. (2001) Religion explained. evolutionary origins of religious thought. Basic Books.Google Scholar
Boyer, P. & Bergstrom, B. (2011) Threat-detection in child development: an evolutionary perspective. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(4), 10341041.Google Scholar
Child, A. B. & Child, I. L. (1993) Religion and magic in the life of traditional peoples. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
Fessler, D. M. T., Pisor, A. C., & Navarrete, C. D. (2014) Negatively-biased credulity and the cultural evolution of beliefs. PLoS One, 9(4), e95167.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gambetta, D. (2011) codes of the underworld: how criminals communicate. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Goody, J. (1977) The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Goody, J. (1986) The logic of writing and the organization of society. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Guthrie, S. E. (1993) Faces in the clouds. a new theory of religion. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Harris, P. L. (2000) The work of the imagination. Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
Harcourt, Alexander H. & de Waal, Frans (Eds.) (1992Coalitions and alliances in humans and other animals. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Kuran, T. (1998) Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades. Journal of Legal Studies, 27(S2), 623659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kurzban, R. & Neuberg, S. (2005) Managing ingroup and outgroup relationships. In Buss, D. M. (Ed.) The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 653675). John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
Lawson, E. T. & McCauley, R. N. (1990). Rethinking religion: connecting cognition and culture. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Leslie, A. M., Friedman, O., & German, T. P. (2004) Core mechanisms in “theory of mind.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(12), 528533.Google Scholar
Maynard Smith, J. (1982) Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Medina, L. F. (2007) A Unified Theory of Collective Action and Social Change. University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mercier, H., & Sperber, D. (2009) Intuitive and reflective inferences. In Evans, J. S. B. T. & Frankish, K. (Eds.). Two minds. dual processes and beyond (pp. 149170). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Neuberg, S. L., Kenrick, D. T., and Schaller, M. (2010) Evolutionary Social Psychology. In Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, D. T., & Lindzey, G. (Eds.). Handbook of social psychology, vol. 2. 5th ed. (pp. 761796). John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
Pietraszewski, D. (2013) What is group psychology? Adaptations for mapping shared intentional stances. In Banaji, M. R., Gelman, S. A., Banaji, M. R., & Gelman, S. A. (Eds.). Navigating the social world: what infants, children, and other species can teach us (pp. 253257). Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pietraszewski, D., Curry, O. S., Petersen, M. B., Cosmides, L., and Tooby, J. (2016) Constituents of Political Cognition: Race, Party Politics, and the Alliance Detection System. Cognition, 140, 2439. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.03.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pyysiainen, I. (2001) How religion works. towards a new cognitive science of religion. Brill.Google Scholar
Recanati, F. (2000) The iconicity of metarepresentations. In Sperber, D. (Ed.). Metarepresentations. A multidisciplinary perspective (pp. 311360) Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roth, I. (2007) Imaginative minds. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Sperber, D. (1996) Explaining culture: a naturalistic approach. Blackwell.Google Scholar
Sperber, D. (1997) Intuitive and reflective beliefs. Mind and Language, 12(1), 6783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spiro, M. & D’Andrade, R. G. (1958) A Cross-cultural study of some supernatural beliefs. American Anthropologist, 60(3), 456466.Google Scholar
Stich, S. (1983) From folk-psychology to cognitive science: the case against belief. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (2010) Groups in mind: the coalitional roots of war and morality. In Høgh- Olesen, H. (Ed.). Human morality and sociality: evolutionary and comparative perspectives (pp. 191234). Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
van Leeuwen, N. (2014) Religious credence is not factual belief. Cognition, 133(3), 698715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whitehouse, H. (2000) Arguments and icons. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Woody, E. & Szechtman, H. (2011) Adaptation to potential threat: the evolution, neurobiology, and psychopathology. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(4), 10191033.Google Scholar


Akers, R. L. (1990) Rational choice, deterrence, and social learning theory in criminology: the path not taken. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 81(3), 653676.Google Scholar
Alexander, M. (2012) The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. The New Press.Google Scholar
Aspinwall, L. G., Brown, T. R., & Tabery, J. (2012) The double-edged sword: does biomechanism increase or decrease judges’ sentencing of psychopaths? Science, 337(6096), 846849. Scholar
Bastian, B. & Haslam, N. (2006) Psychological essentialism and stereotype endorsement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42(2), 228235. Scholar
Bastian, B., Laham, S. M., Wilson, S., Haslam, N., & Koval, P. (2011) Blaming, praising, and protecting our humanity: the implications of everyday dehumanization for judgments of moral status. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50(3), 469483. ScholarPubMed
Bates, D., Mächler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2014) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4 [Computation]. 51. Scholar
Batson, C. D. (2010). Altruism in humans. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Brescoll, V. & LaFrance, M. (2004) The correlates and consequences of newspaper reports of research on sex differences. Psychological Science, 15(8), 515520. Scholar
Cheung, B. Y. & Heine, S. J. (2015) The double-edged sword of genetic accounts of criminality: causal attributions from genetic ascriptions affect legal decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(12), 17231738. Scholar
Crowne, D. P. & Marlowe, D. (1960) A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24(4), 349354. ScholarPubMed
Darley, J., Carlsmith, K., & Robinson, P. (2000) Incapacitation and just deserts as motives for punishment. Law and Human Behavior, 24(6), 659683. Scholar
Dar-Nimrod, I., Heine, S. J., Cheung, B. Y., & Schaller, M. (2011) Do scientific theories affect men’s evaluations of sex crimes? Aggressive Behavior, 37(5), 440449. Scholar
De Freitas, J., Cikara, M., Grossmann, I., & Schlegel, R. (2017) Origins of the belief in good true selves. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(9), 634636. ScholarPubMed
De Freitas, J., Tobia, K. P., Newman, G. E., & Knobe, J. (2017) Normative judgments and individual essence. Cognitive Science, 41(S3), 382402. Scholar
de Vel-Palumbo, M., Howarth, L., & Brewer, M. B. (2019) “Once a sex offender always a sex offender?” Essentialism and attitudes towards criminal justice policy. Psychology, Crime & Law, 25(5), 421439. Scholar
Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(1), 518. Scholar
Dovidio, J. F. & Gaertner, S. L. (1981) The effects of race, status, and ability on helping behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44(3), 192203. Scholar
Dreber, A., Rand, D., Fudenberg, D., & Nowak, M. (2008) Winners don’t punish. Nature, 452, 348351. Scholar
Dunfield, K., Kuhlmeier, V. A., O’Connell, L., & Kelley, E. (2011) Examining the diversity of prosocial behavior: helping, sharing, and comforting in infancy. Infancy, 16(3), 227247. ScholarPubMed
Dunlea, J. P. & Heiphetz, L. (2021a) Language shapes children?s attitudes: Consequences of internal, behavioral, and societal information in punitive and nonpunitive contexts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151, 12331251. Scholar
Dunlea, J. P. & Heiphetz, L. (2021b) Moral psychology as a necessary bridge between social cognition and law. Social Cognition, 39, 183–199. Scholar
Eberhardt, J. L., Davies, P. G., Purdie-Vaughns, V. J., & Johnson, S. L. (2006) Looking deathworthy: perceived stereotypicality of black defendants predicts capital-sentencing outcomes. Psychological Science, 17(5), 383386. Scholar
Eberhardt, J. L., Goff, P. A., Purdie, V. J., & Davies, P. G. (2004) Seeing black: race, crime, and visual processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(6), 876893. Scholar
Fagan, J. & Meares, T. L. (2008) Punishment, deterrence and social control: the paradox of punishment in minority communities. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 6(1), 173229.Google Scholar
Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Buchner, A., & Lang, A. (2009) Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3.1: tests for correlation and regression analyses. Behavior Research Methods, 41(4), 11491160. ScholarPubMed
Gaertner, S. L. & Dovidio, J. F. (1986) The aversive form of racism. In Dovidio, J. F. & Gaertner, S. L. (Eds.). Prejudice, discrimination, and racism (pp. 6189). Academic Press.Google Scholar
Gelman, S. A. (2003) The essential child: origins of essentialism in everyday thought. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gelman, S. A., Heyman, G. D., & Legare, C. H. (2007) Developmental changes in the coherence of essentialist beliefs about psychological characteristics. Child Development, 78, 757774. Scholar
Goff, P. A., Eberhardt, J. L., Williams, M. J., Jackson, M. C. (2008) Not yet human: implicit knowledge, historical dehumanization, and contemporary consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(2), 292306. ScholarPubMed
Goff, P. A., Jackson, M. C., di Leone, B. A. L., Culotta, C. M., & DiTomasso, N. A. (2014) The essence of innocence: consequences of dehumanizing Black children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(4), 526545. Scholar
Haslam, N. & Levy, S. R. (2006) Essentialist beliefs about homosexuality: structure and implications for prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(4), 471485. Scholar
Hayes, A. (2013) Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. A regression-based approach. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Heiphetz, L. (2019) Moral essentialism and generosity among children and adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148(12), 20772090. ScholarPubMed
Heiphetz, L. & Craig, M. A. (2021) Dehumanization and perceptions of immoral intergroup behavior. In Knobe, J, Nichols, S, & Lombrozo, T (Eds.). Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy (pp. 155181). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Heiphetz, L., Gelman, S. A., & Young, L. (2017) The perceived stability and biological basis of religious beliefs, factual beliefs, and opinions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 156, 8298. ScholarPubMed
Heiphetz, L., Strohminger, N., Gelman, S. A., & Young, L. L. (2018) Who am I? The role of moral beliefs in children’s and adults’ understanding of identity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 78, 210219. Scholar
Heiphetz, L., Strohminger, N., & Young, L. (2017) The role of moral beliefs, memories, and preferences in representations of identity. Cognitive Science, 41(3), 744767. Scholar
Henrich, J., Ensminger, J., & McElreath, R. (2010) Markets, religion, community size, and the evolution of fairness and punishment. Science, 327(5972), 14801484. Scholar
Hicks, G. R. & Lee, T. (2006) Public attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(2), 5777. Scholar
Jayaratne, T. E., Ybarra, O., Sheldon, J. P. et al. (2006) White Americans’ genetic lay theories of race differences and sexual orientation: their relationship with prejudice toward blacks, and gay men and lesbians. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9(1), 7794. ScholarPubMed
Jones, N. (2014) “The regular routine”: proactive policing and adolescent development among young, poor Black men. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2014(143), 3354. ScholarPubMed
Keller, J. (2005) In genes we trust: the biological component of psychological essentialism and its relationship to mechanisms of motivated social cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(4), 686702. Scholar
Kraus, M. W. & Keltner, D. (2013) Social class rank, essentialism, and punitive judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(2), 247261. Scholar
Kteily, N., Bruneau, E., Waytz, A., & Cotterill, S. (2015) The ascent of man: theoretical and empirical evidence for blatant dehumanization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(5), 901931. Scholar
Manza, J. & Uggen, C. (2006) Locked out: felon disenfranchisement and American democracy. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Martin, J. W. & Heiphetz, L. (2021) “Internally wicked”: investigating how and why essentialism influences punitiveness and moral condemnation. Cognitive Science, 45(6), 128. Scholar
McConahay, J. B. (1986) Modern racism, ambivalence, and the Modern Racism Scale. In Dovidio, J. F. & Gaertner, S. L. (Eds.). Prejudice, discrimination, and racism (pp. 91125). Academic Press.Google Scholar
Monterosso, J., Royzman, E. B., & Schwartz, B. (2005) Explaining away responsibility: effects of scientific explanation on perceived culpability. Ethics & Behavior, 15(2), 139158. Scholar
Newman, G. E., De Freitas, J., & Knobe, J. (2015) Beliefs about the true self explain asymmetries based on moral judgment. Cognitive Science, 39(1), 96125. ScholarPubMed
Okonofua, J. A. & Eberhardt, J. L. (2015) Two strikes: race and the disciplining of young students. Psychological Science, 26(5), 617624. Scholar
Olson, K. R. & Spelke, E. S., (2008) Foundations of cooperation in young children. Cognition, 108(1), 222231. Scholar
Rhodes, M. & Mandalaywala, T. M. (2017) The development and developmental consequences of social essentialism. WIREs Cognitive Science, 8, 14371455.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rhodes, M., Leslie, S.-J., Saunders, K., Dunham, Y., & Cimpian, A. (2018) How does social essentialism affect the development of inter-group relations? Developmental Science, 21(1), e12509. ScholarPubMed
Strohminger, N., Knobe, J., & Newman, G. (2017) The true self: a psychological concept distinct from the self. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(2), 551560. Scholar
Tomasello, M. & Vaish, A. (2013) Origins of human cooperation and morality. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 231255. Scholar
Warneken, F. (2018) How children solve the two challenges of cooperation. Annual Review of Psychology, 69, 205229. Scholar
Warneken, F. & Tomasello, M. (2006) Altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees. Science, 311(5765), 13011303. ScholarPubMed
Western, B. (2018) Homeward: life in the year after prison. Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Williams, M. J. & Eberhardt, J. L. (2008) Biological conceptions of race and the motivation to cross racial boundaries. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(6), 10331047. Scholar
Yu, J., Zhu, L., & Leslie, A. M. (2016) Children’s sharing behavior in mini-dictator games: the role of in-group favoritism and theory of mind. Child Development, 87(6), 17471757. Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats