Books & Chapters
Purzycki, B. G., Kiper, J., Shaver, J., Finkel, D. N., and Sosis, R. (2015). Religion. In Scott, Robert A., and Kosslyn, Stephen M. (eds.). Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. New York: Wiley, pp. 1-16.
Purzycki, B. G., and McNamara, R. A. (2016). An Ecological Theory of Gods’ Minds. In De Cruz, Helen and Nichols, Ryan (eds.). Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy. New York: Continuum, pp. 143-167.
The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often unable to solve basic problems, like obtaining food, building shelters or avoiding predators. On the other hand, […]
Purzycki, B. G., Haque, O., and Sosis, R. (2014). Extending Evolutionary Accounts of Religion beyond the Mind: Religions as Adaptive Systems. In Watts, Fraser, and Turner, Léon (eds.). Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science: Critical and Constructive Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 74-91.
Questions about the origins of human cooperation have long puzzled and divided scientists. Social norms that foster fair-minded behavior, altruism and collective action undergird the foundations of large-scale human societies, but we know little about how these norms develop or spread, or why the intensity and breadth of human cooperation varies among different populations. What […]
Forthcoming, Crown (Random House), March 4, 2014 (295 + vi pages) UK version forthcoming from Canongate German Edition, Das Geheimnis der Gelassenheit: Wie wir mehr erreichen, wenn wir weniger wollen, Berlin Verlag, forthcoming. Contracted translations into Dutch (Maven), Russian (Corpus) and Korean (Sam & Parkers) in progress. Audiobook forthcoming from Random House Audio Available for preorder at Amazon (US / Canada) or the Random House site […]
Shariff, A., Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2014). Religions as Cultural Solutions to Social Living. In A.B. Cohen (ed.). Culture Reexamined: Broadening Our Understanding of Social and Evolutionary Influences. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association, pp. 217-238.
Overview Over the past few decades, a growing body of research has emerged from a variety of disciplines to highlight the importance of cultural evolution in understanding human behavior. Wider application of these insights, however, has been hampered by traditional disciplinary boundaries. To remedy this, in this volume leading researchers from theoretical biology, developmental and […]
How did human societies scale up from small, tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative societies of today–even though anonymity is the enemy of cooperation? How did organized religions with “Big Gods”–the great monotheistic and polytheistic faiths–spread to colonize most minds in the world? In Big Gods, Ara Norenzayan makes the surprising and provocative […]
Slingerland, E., Henrich, J., & A. Norenzayan (forthcoming) The evolution of prosocial religions. In Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language and Religion. Edited by P. J. Richerson and M. H. Christiansen. MIT Press.