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  1. Mysteries of Morality.Peter DeScioli & Robert Kurzban - 2009 - Cognition 112 (2):281-299.
    Evolutionary theories of morality, beginning with Darwin, have focused on explanations for altruism. More generally, these accounts have concentrated on conscience to the neglect of condemnation. As a result, few theoretical tools are available for understanding the rapidly accumulating data surrounding third-party judgment and punishment. Here we consider the strategic interactions among actors, victims, and third-parties to help illuminate condemnation. We argue that basic differences between the adaptive problems faced by actors and third-parties indicate that actor conscience and third-party condemnation (...)
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  • Mysticism and Mind: Using Cognitive Science to Explore Religious Experience.Ryan G. Hornbeck & Robert E. Sears - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (2):59--80.
    This article derives from a paper presented at the Philosophy of Religion and Mysticism Conference hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, May 22-24, 2014. That paper introduced theories and methods drawn from the ”cognitive science of religion’ and suggested future avenues of research connecting CSR and scholarship on mysticism. Towards these same ends, the present article proceeds in three parts. Part I outlines the origins, aims, and basic tenets of CSR research. Part II discusses one specific causal (...)
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  • How Does Ritualized Behavior Lower Anxiety? The Role of Cognitive Load and Conscious Preoccupation in Anxiety Reduction.Aneta Niczyporuk - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 62 (1):187-205.
    Although rituals are believed to lower anxiety, the underlying mechanism of anxiety reduction has not been explained well enough. According to Boyer and Liénard, ritualized behavior decreases the anxiety levels because it swamps working memory. This blocks anxious thoughts’ access to consciousness. As a result, ritualized behavior lowers anxiety temporarily but maintains it in the long run. In the article, I analyze what processes should be engaged in ritualized behavior to bring the aforementioned outcomes. I propose that ritualized behavior has (...)
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  • TTOM in Action: Refining the Variational Approach to Cognition and Culture.Samuel P. L. Veissière, Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Karl J. Friston & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    The target article “Thinking Through Other Minds” offered an account of the distinctively human capacity to acquire cultural knowledge, norms, and practices. To this end, we leveraged recent ideas from theoretical neurobiology to understand the human mind in social and cultural contexts. Our aim was bothsynthetic– building an integrative model adequate to account for key features of cultural learning and adaptation; andprescriptive– showing how the tools developed to explain brain dynamics can be applied to the emergence of social and cultural (...)
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  • Psychology of Cleansing Through the Prism of Intersecting Object Histories.Zachary Ekves, Yanina Prystauka, Charles P. Davis, Eiling Yee & Gerry T. M. Altmann - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    We link cleansing effects to contemporary cognitive theories via an account of event representation that provides an explicit, neurally plausible mechanism for encoding objects and their associations across time. It explains separation as resulting from weakening associations between the self in the present and the self in the past.
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  • Level of Agency in Sub-Clinical Checking.S. Belayachi & M. Van der Linden - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):293-299.
    This study examined cognitive representations of routine action, through the assessment of level of agency, in individuals with sub-clinical checking. The level of agency stems from Action Identification Theory [Vallacher, R. R., Wegner, D. M. . Levels of personal agency: Individual variation in action identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57, 660–671], which states that how actions are usually identified reflects the predominant accessibility of internal representation . Furthermore, this framework proposed that altered action regulation is related to low-level (...)
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  • Feeling of Doing in Obsessive–Compulsive Checking.S. Belayachi & M. Van der Linden - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (2):534-546.
    Research on self-agency emphasizes the importance of a comparing mechanism, which scans for a match between anticipated and actual outcomes, in the subjective experience of doing.This study explored the “feeling of doing” in individuals with checking symptoms by examining the mechanism involved in the experienced agency for outcomes that matched expectations. This mechanism was explored using a task in which the subliminal priming of potential action-effects generally enhances people’s feeling of causing these effects when they occur, due to the unconscious (...)
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  • Towards a Standard Model of the Cognitive Science of Nationalism – the Calendar.Michal Fux & Amílcar Antonio Barreto - 2020 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 20 (5):432-457.
    The Cognitive Science of Nationalistic Behavior, presented in this paper, integrates the political sciences of nationalities as invented communities with an evolutionary cognitive analysis of social forms as products of the human mind. The framework is modeled after the Cognitive Science of Religion, where decades of cross-disciplinary work has generated standards, predictions, and data about the role of individual cognitive tendencies in shaping societies. We study the nationalistic calendar as a cultural attractor and draw on cue-based behavioral motivation and differential (...)
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  • Anxiety: Here and Beyond.Beyon Miloyan, Adam Bulley & Thomas Suddendorf - 2019 - Emotion Review 11 (1):39-49.
    The future harbours the potential for myriad threats to the fitness of organisms, and many species prepare accordingly based on indicators of hazards. Here, we distinguish between defensive responses on the basis of sensed cues and those based on autocues generated by mental simulations of the future in humans. Whereas sensed threat cues usually induce specific responses with reference to particular features of the environment or generalized responses to protect against diffuse threats, autocues generated by mental simulations of the future (...)
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  • Supernatural Agent Cognitions in Dreams.Patrick McNamara, Brian Teed, Victoria Pae, Adonai Sebastian & Chisom Chukwumerije - 2018 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 18 (3-4):428-450.
    Purpose:To test the hypothesis that supernatural agents appear in nightmares and dreams in association with evidence of diminished agency within the dreamer/dream ego.Methods:Content analyses of 120 nightmares and 71 unpleasant control dream narratives.Results:We found that SAs overtly occur in about one quarter of unpleasant dreams and about half of nightmares. When SAs appear in a dream or nightmare they are reliably associated with diminished agency in the dreamer. Diminished agency within the dreamer occurs in over 90% of dreams that have (...)
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  • Cultural and Species Differences in Gazing Patterns for Marked and Decorated Objects: A Comparative Eye-Tracking Study.Cordelia Mühlenbeck, Thomas Jacobsen, Carla Pritsch & Katja Liebal - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Evaluating Ritual Efficacy: Evidence From the Supernatural.Cristine H. Legare & André L. Souza - 2012 - Cognition 124 (1):1-15.
  • Adopting the Ritual Stance: The Role of Opacity and Context in Ritual and Everyday Actions.Rohan Kapitány & Mark Nielsen - 2015 - Cognition 145:13-29.
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  • Revisiting the Form and Function of Conflict: Neurobiological, Psychological, and Cultural Mechanisms for Attack and Defense Within and Between Groups.Carsten K. W. De Dreu & Jörg Gross - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:1-76.
    Conflict can profoundly affect individuals and their groups. Oftentimes, conflict involves a clash between one side seeking change and increased gains through victory and the other side defending the status quo and protecting against loss and defeat. However, theory and empirical research largely neglected these conflicts between attackers and defenders, and the strategic, social, and psychological consequences of attack and defense remain poorly understood. To fill this void, we model the clashing of attack and defense as games of strategy and (...)
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  • Melting Lizards and Crying Mailboxes: Children's Preferential Recall of Minimally Counterintuitive Concepts.Konika Banerjee, Omar S. Haque & Elizabeth S. Spelke - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (7):1251-1289.
    Previous research with adults suggests that a catalog of minimally counterintuitive concepts, which underlies supernatural or religious concepts, may constitute a cognitive optimum and is therefore cognitively encoded and culturally transmitted more successfully than either entirely intuitive concepts or maximally counterintuitive concepts. This study examines whether children's concept recall similarly is sensitive to the degree of conceptual counterintuitiveness (operationalized as a concept's number of ontological domain violations) for items presented in the context of a fictional narrative. Seven- to nine-year-old children (...)
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  • The Early Social Significance of Shared Ritual Actions.Zoe Liberman, Katherine D. Kinzler & Amanda L. Woodward - 2018 - Cognition 171:42-51.
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  • Ritual Forms and Ritual Stuff: Implications of Lawson and McCauley's Ritual Form Hypothesis for Material Culture.Ryan G. Hornbeck & Justin L. Barrett - 2020 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 48 (1):129-146.
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  • Heraclitean Rivers: Zulu Cultural Transmission.Michal Fux - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (5):493-507.
    Rituals are part of all religious systems and their transmission and stability have exercised many scholars for decades. Within cognitive anthropology competing views of cultural transmission have emerged in recent years in terms of the mechanisms by means of which cultural forms, including rituals, are transmitted and persist within societies. Two schools of thought focusing on the “epidemiology of representations” and memetic cultural evolution have informed this study’s goal for gaining insight on the plausibility of cultural learning models as opposed (...)
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  • Etiological Challenges to Religious Practices.Helen De Cruz - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (4):329–340.
    There is a common assumption that evolutionary explanations of religion undermine religious beliefs. Do etiological accounts similarly affect the rationality of religious practices? To answer this question, this paper looks at two influential evolutionary accounts of ritual, the hazard-precaution model and costly signaling theory. It examines whether Cuneo’s account of ritual knowledge as knowing to engage God can be maintained in the light of these evolutionary accounts. While the evolutionary accounts under consideration are not metaphysically incompatible with the idea that (...)
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  • Modelling Religious Signalling.Carl Brusse - 2019 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The origins of human social cooperation confound simple evolutionary explanation. But from Darwin and Durkheim onward, theorists (anthropologists and sociologists especially) have posited a potential link with another curious and distinctively human social trait that cries out for explanation: religion. This dissertation explores one contemporary theory of the co-evolution of religion and human social cooperation: the signalling theory of religion, or religious signalling theory (RST). According to the signalling theory, participation in social religion (and its associated rituals and sanctions) acts (...)
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  • Explaining Vampirism: Two Divergent Attractors of Dead Human Concepts.Vladimír Bahna - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4):285-298.
    This paper explores the cognitive foundations of vampirism beliefs. The occurrence of beliefs of the dead rising from graves and returning to harm the living across many cultures indicates that this concept has features that make it successful in the process of cultural transmission. Comparing ghost- and vampire-like beliefs, it is argued that bodiless agents and animated but dead bodies represent two divergent cognitive attractors concerning concepts of dead humans. The inferential potential of the classic idea of a bodiless ghost (...)
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  • Neuroaesthetics and Beyond: New Horizons in Applying the Science of the Brain to the Art of Dance. [REVIEW]Emily S. Cross & Luca F. Ticini - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (1):5-16.
    Throughout history, dance has maintained a critical presence across all human cultures, defying barriers of class, race, and status. How dance has synergistically co-evolved with humans has fueled a rich debate on the function of art and the essence of aesthetic experience, engaging numerous artists, historians, philosophers, and scientists. While dance shares many features with other art forms, one attribute unique to dance is that it is most commonly expressed with the human body. Because of this, social scientists and neuroscientists (...)
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  • Ritualized Objects: How We Perceive and Respond to Causally Opaque and Goal Demoted Action.Rohan Kapitány & Mark Nielsen - 2019 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 19 (1-2):170-194.
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  • Evolutionary Theory on the Move: New Perspectives on Evolution in the Cognitive Science of Religion.István Czachesz - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
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  • Does Goal-Demotion Enhance Cooperation?Panagiotis Mitkidis, Pierre Lienard, Kristoffer L. Nielbo & Jesper Sørensen - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 14 (3-4):263-272.
    Social scientists have long assumed that religion – and more specifically religious rituals – promotes cooperation. It has also been claimed that ritual plays an essential role in enhancing prosociality and cooperation. In this study, using a controlled laboratory experiment, we investigate if a conspicuous and recurrent feature of collective ritualized behaviour, goal-demotion, promotes lasting cooperation. We report that goal-directed collective behaviour is more efficient than goal-demoted behaviour for motivating participants to engage in ulterior cooperation. Plausible interpretations of the data (...)
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  • What's HIDD'n in the HADD?Anders Lisdorf - 2007 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 7 (3-4):341-353.
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  • Cultural Transmission of Precautionary Ideas: The Weighted Role of Implicit Motivation.Michal Fux - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (5):415-435.
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  • Two Notions Contrasted: 'Logical Geography' and 'Logical Topography' Variations on a Theme by Gilbert Ryle: The Logical Topography of 'Logical Geography'.Aaron Sloman - unknown
    This paper distinguishes two versions of Ryle's notion of 'logical geography'. Logical geography: The network of relationships between current uses of a collection of concepts. (Probably what Ryle meant by the term.) Logical topography Features of the portion of reality, or types of portions of reality, related to a given set of concepts, where the reality may be capable of being divided up in different ways using different networks of relationships between concepts. -/- Studying/analysing logical topography includes evaluating the alternative (...)
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  • Unintended Consequences of Security Motivation in the Age of the Internet: Impacts on Governance and Democracy.Erik Z. Woody & Henry Szechtman - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (5):365-382.
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  • Rethinking Complexity and Culture: Cognitive Science as Explanatory Framework for Cultural Phenomena.Justin E. Lane - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (5):435-441.
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  • Gene–Culture Coevolution and the Evolution of Social Institutions.Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Social institutions are the laws, informal rules, and conventions that give durable structure to social interactions within a population. Such institutions are typically not designed consciously, are heritable at the population level, are frequently but not always group benefi cial, and are often symbolically marked. Conceptualizing social institutions as one of multiple possible stable cultural equilibrium allows a straightforward explanation of their properties. The evolution of institutions is partly driven by both the deliberate and intuitive decisions of individuals and collectivities. (...)
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  • The Evolution of a Practice in Trialectic Space: An Approach Inclusive of Norms and Performance.Miguel Torres García - 2018 - Outlines. Critical Practice Studies 19 (1):25-45.
    Practice theory has lately taken a turn towards modelling the evolution of practices, which appear situated at the centre of the study of social action. I argue in this paper, following previous criticisms, that such centrality can be revised in order to better incorporate elements of agency and normativity, which are much determinant of the emergence and development of practices. The aim of this paper is to propose an alternative heuristic which advances on lefebvrean trialectics, in order to better account (...)
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  • Weakness and Compulsion: The Essential Difference.Ferenc Huoranszki - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):81-97.
    This paper aims to defend the common-sense view that we exempt compulsive agents from responsibility to the extent that they are unable to choose what they do and hence they cannot control their actions by their choices. This view has been challenged in a seminal paper by Gary Watson, who claimed that akratic agents lack control in the same sense but they are responsible nonetheless. In the first part of the paper, I critically examine the arguments Watson advances for this (...)
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  • Spreading Order: Religion, Cooperative Niche Construction, and Risky Coordination Problems.Joseph Bulbulia - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):1-27.
    Adaptationists explain the evolution of religion from the cooperative effects of religious commitments, but which cooperation problem does religion evolve to solve? I focus on a class of symmetrical coordination problems for which there are two pure Nash equilibriums: (1) ALL COOPERATE, which is efficient but relies on full cooperation; (2) ALL DEFECT, which is inefficient but pays regardless of what others choose. Formal and experimental studies reveal that for such risky coordination problems, only the defection equilibrium is evolutionarily stable. (...)
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  • Thinking About Threats: Memory and Prospection in Human Threat Management.Adam Bulley, Julie D. Henry & Thomas Suddendorf - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 49:53-69.
  • Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual.Dimitris Xygalatas, Ivana Konvalinka, Armin W. Geertz, Andreas Roepstoff, Else-Marie Jegindø, Uffe Schjoedt, Joseph Bulbulia & Paul Reddish - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (1-2):1-16.
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  • Are Motor Collective Rituals as Rigid as They Seem? A Test Case of a Zulu Wedding Dance.Hila Keren, Michal Fux, David Eilam, Joel Mort & E. Thomas Lawson - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (1-2):17-32.
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  • Prediction Error During Functional and Non-Functional Action Sequences: A Computational Exploration of Ritual and Ritualized Event Processing.Kristoffer L. Nielbo & Jesper Sørensen - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (3-4):347-365.
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  • Long-Term, Explicit Memory in Rituals.István Czachesz - 2010 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 10 (3-4):327-339.
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  • Intrusive Uncertainty in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.Tom Cochrane & Keeley Heaton - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (2):182-208.
    In this article we examine obsessive compulsive disorder. We examine and reject two existing models of this disorder: the Dysfunctional Belief Model and the Inference-Based Approach. Instead, we propose that the main distinctive characteristic of OCD is a hyperactive sub-personal signal of being in error, experienced by the individual as uncertainty about his or her intentional actions. This signalling interacts with the anxiety sensitivities of the individual to trigger conscious checking processes, including speculations about possible harms. We examine the implications (...)
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  • Obsessive–Compulsive Tendencies May Be Associated with Attenuated Access to Internal States: Evidence From a Biofeedback-Aided Muscle Tensing Task.Amit Lazarov, Reuven Dar, Nira Liberman & Yuval Oded - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1401-1409.
    The present study was motivated by the hypothesis that inputs from internal states in obsessive–compulsive individuals are attenuated, which could be one source of the pervasive doubting and checking in OCD. Participants who were high or low in OC tendencies were asked to produce specific levels of muscle tension with and without biofeedback, and their accuracy in producing the required muscle tension levels was assessed. As predicted, high OC participants performed more poorly than low OC participants on this task when (...)
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  • Explaining Moral Religions.Nicolas Baumard & Pascal Boyer - 2013 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (6):272-280.
  • Rituals, Repetitiveness and Cognitive Load.Johannes Alfons Karl & Ronald Fischer - 2018 - Human Nature 29 (4):418-441.
    A central hypothesis to account for the ubiquity of rituals across cultures is their supposed anxiolytic effects: rituals being maintained because they reduce existential anxiety and uncertainty. We aimed to test the anxiolytic effects of rituals by investigating two possible underlying mechanisms for it: cognitive load and repetitive movement. In our pre-registered experiment, 180 undergraduates took part in either a stress or a control condition and were subsequently assigned to either control, cognitive load, undirected movement, a combination of undirected movement (...)
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  • Explanatory Modesty.Robert N. McCauley - 2014 - Zygon 49 (3):728-740.
    Although I certainly have differences with some of my commentators, I am grateful for the time, effort, and attention that each has devoted to my book, Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not. They have helpfully pointed out features of my positions that need clarification and elaboration. I am also grateful to the editor of Zygon, Willem Drees, for this opportunity to undertake that task here.
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  • Becoming Believers: Studying the Conversion Process From Within.Aaron C. T. Smith & Bob Stewart - 2011 - Zygon 46 (4):806-834.
    Abstract Employing an extended case method ethnography (Burawoy 1998), the researcher joined five new members forming a spiritualist's group under the leadership of an experienced advocate. Over a period of eighteen months, the researcher attended all the group's activities and events. Data were collected to reflexively interrogate the process theory of conversion proposed by Lewis Rambo (1993). The data revealed conversion to be a multifaceted and dynamic process of cognitive change, mediated by structural, and contextual forces. The results provide a (...)
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