10 found
  1. The Folk Psychology of Souls.Jesse M. Bering - 2006 - 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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    Reasoning About Dead Agents Reveals Possible Adaptive Trends.Jesse M. Bering, Katrina McLeod & Todd K. Shackelford - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):360-381.
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    Toward a Science of Other Minds: Escaping the Argument by Analogy.Daniel J. Povinelli, Jesse M. Bering & Steve Giambrone - 2000 - Cognitive Science 24 (3):509-541.
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  4. The Causal Role of Consciousness: A Conceptual Addendum to Human Evolutionary Psychology.Jesse M. Bering & Todd K. Shackelford - 2004 - Review of General Psychology 8 (4):227-248.
  5. The Serpent's Gift: Evolutionary Psychology and Consciousness.Jesse M. Bering & Dave Bjorklund - 2007 - In Philip David Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch & Evan Thompson (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6.  35
    The Cognitive Science of Souls: Clarifications and Extensions of the Evolutionary Model.Jesse M. Bering - 2006 - 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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    Supernatural Agents May Have Provided Adaptive Social Information.Jesse M. Bering & Todd K. Shackelford - 2004 - 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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    Aversion to Organs Donated by Suicide Victims: The Role of Psychological Essentialism.Evan R. Balkcom, Victoria K. Alogna, Emma R. Curtin, Jamin B. Halberstadt & Jesse M. Bering - 2019 - Cognition 192:104037.
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  9. Consciousness Was a 'Trouble-Maker': On the General Maladaptiveness of Unsupported Mental Representation.Jesse M. Bering - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (1):33-56.
    Consciousness, as a higher-order cognitive capacity allowing for the explicit representation of abstract mental states, might be the incidental byproduct of design features from other adaptive systems, such as those governing expansion of the frontal lobes in primates. Although such abilities may have occurred entirely by chance, the standardized entrenchment of this representational capacity in human cognition may have posed engineering dilemmas for natural selection in that consciousness could not be easily removed without disrupting the adaptive features of other design (...)
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    The Coevolution of Secrecy and Stigmatization.Jared Piazza & Jesse M. Bering - 2010 - 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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