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  1. Jared Piazza & Jesse M. Bering (2010). The Coevolution of Secrecy and Stigmatization. Human Nature 21 (3):290-308.
    We propose a coevolutionary model of secrecy and stigmatization. According to this model, secrecy functions to conceal potential fitness costs detected in oneself or one’s genetic kin. In three studies, we found that the content of participants’ distressing secrets overlapped significantly with three domains of social information that were important for inclusive fitness and served as cues for discriminating between rewarding and unrewarding interaction partners: health, mating, and social-exchange behavior. These findings support the notion that secrecy functions primarily as a (...)
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  2. Jesse M. Bering & Dave Bjorklund (2007). The Serpent's Gift: Evolutionary Psychology and Consciousness. In Philip David Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch & Evan Thompson (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness. Cambridge.
  3. Jesse M. Bering (2006). The Cognitive Science of Souls: Clarifications and Extensions of the Evolutionary Model. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):486-493.
    The commentaries are a promising sign that a research programme on the cognitive science of souls will continue to move toward empirical and theoretical rigor. Most of the commentators agree that beliefs in personal immortality, in the intelligent design of souls, and in the symbolic meaning of natural events can provide new insight into human social evolution. In this response I clarify and extend the evolutionary model, further emphasizing the adaptiveness of the cognitive system that underlies these beliefs.
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  4. Jesse M. Bering (2006). The Folk Psychology of Souls. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):453-+.
    The present article examines how people’s belief in an afterlife, as well as closely related supernatural beliefs, may open an empirical backdoor to our understanding of the evolution of human social cognition. Recent findings and logic from the cognitive sciences contribute to a novel theory of existential psychology, one that is grounded in the tenets of Darwinian natural selection. Many of the predominant questions of existential psychology strike at the heart of cognitive science. They involve: causal attribution (why is mortal (...)
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  5. Jesse M. Bering, Katrina McLeod & Todd K. Shackelford (2005). Reasoning About Dead Agents Reveals Possible Adaptive Trends. Human Nature 16 (4):360-381.
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  6. Jesse M. Bering (2004). Consciousness Was a 'Trouble-Maker': On the General Maladaptiveness of Unsupported Mental Representation. Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (1):33-56.
     
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  7. Jesse M. Bering & Todd K. Shackelford (2004). Supernatural Agents May Have Provided Adaptive Social Information. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):732-733.
    Atran & Norenzayan's (A&N's) target article effectively combines the insights of evolutionary biology and interdisciplinary cognitive science, neither of which alone yields sufficient explanatory power to help us fully understand the complexities of supernatural belief. Although the authors' ideas echo those of other researchers, they are perhaps the most squarely grounded in neo-Darwinian terms to date. Nevertheless, A&N overlook the possibility that the tendency to infer supernatural agents' communicative intent behind natural events served an ancestrally adaptive function.
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  8. Jesse M. Bering & Todd K. Shackelford (2004). The Causal Role of Consciousness: A Conceptual Addendum to Human Evolutionary Psychology. Review of General Psychology 8 (4):227-248.