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  1.  33
    The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions.Ara Norenzayan, Azim F. Shariff, Will M. Gervais, Aiyana K. Willard, Rita A. McNamara, Edward Slingerland & Joseph Henrich - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39:1-86.
    We develop a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial religions and apply it to resolve two puzzles in human psychology and cultural history: the rise of large-scale cooperation among strangers and, simultaneously, the spread of prosocial religions in the last 10–12 millennia. We argue that these two developments were importantly linked and mutually energizing. We explain how a package of culturally evolved religious beliefs and practices characterized by increasingly potent, moralizing, supernatural agents, credible displays of faith, and other (...)
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  2.  15
    Weighing Outcome Vs. Intent Across Societies: How Cultural Models of Mind Shape Moral Reasoning.Rita Anne McNamara, Aiyana K. Willard, Ara Norenzayan & Joseph Henrich - 2019 - Cognition 182:95-108.
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  3.  95
    Cognitive Biases Explain Religious Belief, Paranormal Belief, and Belief in Life’s Purpose.Aiyana K. Willard & Ara Norenzayan - 2013 - Cognition 129 (2):379-391.
  4.  17
    “Spiritual but Not Religious”: Cognition, Schizotypy, and Conversion in Alternative Beliefs.Aiyana K. Willard & Ara Norenzayan - 2017 - Cognition 165:137-146.
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  5.  17
    Parochial Prosocial Religions: Historical and Contemporary Evidence for a Cultural Evolutionary Process.Ara Norenzayan, Azim F. Shariff, Will M. Gervais, Aiyana K. Willard, Rita A. McNamara, Edward Slingerland & Joseph Henrich - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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  6.  9
    Memory and Belief in the Transmission of Counterintuitive Content.Aiyana K. Willard, Joseph Henrich & Ara Norenzayan - 2016 - Human Nature 27 (3):221-243.
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  7.  3
    Cognitive Pathways to Belief in Karma and Belief in God.Cindel J. M. White, Aiyana K. Willard, Adam Baimel & Ara Norenzayan - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (1):e12935.
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  8.  6
    The Evolution of the Shaman's Cultural Toolkit.Aiyana K. Willard, Yo Nakawake & Jonathan Jong - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    A complete picture of shamanism's cultural evolution requires an understanding of how the professionalization of shamanism affects the distribution of knowledge within societies. We suggest that limiting knowledge to fewer people could impede the accumulation of functional knowledge within shamanism. On this basis, we make further predictions about how the domain of shamanism could change and collapse.
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  9.  8
    The Minds of God and Humans: Differences in Mind Perception in Fiji and North America.Aiyana K. Willard & Rita A. McNamara - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (1):e12703.
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