Publications and Vitae

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Curriculum Vitae

Last updated June 30, 2021

My stuff at GitHub

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Working Papers and Preprints

Bendixen, T., Mauritsen, A. L., Schjoedt, U., and Purzycki, B. G. Does Religiosity Predict Well-Being Across 24 Countries? The Many Analysts Religion Project (MARP).

Purzycki, B. G. Gods, games, and the socioecological landscape.

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Coming Up…

Baimel, A. Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Handley, C., Henrich, J., Kundtová Klocová, E., Lang, M., Lesorogol, C., McNamara, R. A., Moya, C., Norenzayan, A., Placek, C., Soler, M., Weigel, J., Vardy, T., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Purzycki, B. G. (forthcoming). Material insecurity predicts greater commitment to moralistic and less commitment to local deities: A cross-cultural investigation. Religion, Brain and Behavior, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Bendixen, T., and Purzycki, B. G. (forthcoming). Competing forces account for the stability and evolution of religious beliefs. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Bendixen, T., and Purzycki, B. G. (forthcoming). Cultural evolutionary psychology of belief. In Musolino, Julien (ed.). Science of Beliefs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. XXX-XXX.

Lang, M., Chvaja, R., Purzycki, B. G., Václavík, D., Staněk, R. (preregistered report accepted). Advertising cooperative phenotype through costly signals facilitates collective action. Royal Society Open Science, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J., and Norenzayan, A., eds. (forthcoming). The Evolution of Religion and Morality Project: Wave II [special issue]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Mauritsen, A., Borup, J., Nielsen, M., and Purzycki, B. G. (forthcoming). Patterns of contemporary majority religion in Denmark. Journal of Contemporary Religion, X(X):XXX-XXX.

Purzycki, B. G. (forthcoming). Gods: Cognition, culture, and ecology. Oxford University Press Handbook for the Cognitive Science of Religion. Barrett, Justin (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. XXX-XXX.

Purzycki, B. G. and Bendixen, T., eds. (under contract). The Minds of Gods: A Cross-Disciplinary Survey. London: Bloomsbury Press.

Purzycki, B. G., and Bendixen, T. (forthcoming). Religious and Moral Systems. In Cambridge Handbook of Moral Psychology. Malle, Bertram and Robbins, Philip A. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. XXX-XXX.

Purzycki, B. G. and Bendixen, T. (forthcoming). Some Vision Impairments in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Journal of the Cognitive Science of Religion, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Purzycki, B. G. and Sosis, R. (forthcoming). Religion Evolving: Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics. Sheffield: Equinox.

Purzycki, B. G. and Sosis, R. (forthcoming). Resistance, subversion, and the absence of religion in traditional societies. The Cambridge History of Atheism. Bullivant, Stephen and Ruse, Michael (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 982-1004.

Purzycki, B. G., Lang, M., Henrich, J., and Norenzayan, A. (forthcoming). The Evolution of Religion and Morality Project: Reflections and looking ahead [Target Article with Commentaries]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Purzycki, B. G., Willard, A., Klocová, E. K., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., Handley, C., Henrich, J., Lang, M., Lesorogol, C., Mathew, S., McNamara, R., Moya, C., Norenzayan, A., Placek, C., Soler, M., Vardy, T., Weigel, J., Xygalatas, D., and Ross, C. T. (forthcoming). The moralization bias of gods’ minds: A cross-cultural test. Religion, Brain and Behavior, X(X): XXX-XXX.

Soler, M., Purzycki, B. G., and Lang, M. (forthcoming). Perceptions of moralizing agents and cooperative behavior in northeastern Brazil. Religion, Brain and Behavior X(X): XXX-XXX.

Sosis, R., Shaver, J., Purzycki, B. G., and Kiper, J. Soul mates? Conflicts and complementarities in the evolutionary and cognitive sciences of religion. (forthcoming). Oxford Handbook for the Cognitive Science of Religion. Barrett, Justin (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. XXX-XXX.

Vardy, T., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Handley, C., Kundtová Klocová, E., Lesorogol, C., McNamara, R. A., Placek, C., Purzycki, B. G., Soler, M., Weigel, J., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Lang, M., Norenzayan, A., Henrich, J. (forthcoming). Testing explanations for the religious “gender gap” in 15 diverse societies. Religion, Brain and Behavior, X(X): XXX-XXX.

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Published

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Books and Special Issues

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J. and Norenzayan, A., eds. (2018). The Evolution of Religion and Morality Project: Wave I [special issue]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2): 101-261.

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Articles and Book Chapters

Beheim, B., Atkinson, Q., Bulbulia, J., Gervais, W. M., Gray, R., Henrich, J., Lang, M., Monroe, M. W., Muthukrishna, M., Norenzayan, A., Purzycki, B. G., Shariff, A., Slingerland, E., Spicer, R., and Willard, A. K. (2021). Treatment of missing data determines conclusions regarding moralizing gods. Nature, 595: E29-E34.

Bendixen, T., and Purzycki, B. G. (2020). En granskning af gudernes sind:
Betydningen af guders interesser på tværs af kulturer for religioners ophav og udvikling. Religion: Tidsskrift for Religionslærerforeningen for Gymnasiet og HF, 1: 39-45.

Bendixen, T., and Purzycki, B. G. (2020). Peering into the minds of gods: What cross-cultural variation in gods’ concerns can tell us about the evolution of religion. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 5(2): 142–165.

Broesch, T., Crittenden, A.N, Beheim, B. A., Blackwell, A. D., Bunce, J. A., Colleran, H., Hagel, K., Kline, M., McElreath, R., Nelson, R. G., Pisor, A. C., Prall, S., Pretelli, I., Purzycki, B. G., Quinn, E. A., Ross, C., Scelza, B., Starkweather, K., Stieglitz, J., Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2020). Navigating cross-cultural research: Methodological and ethical considerations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287: 20201245

McNamara, R. A., and Purzycki, B. G. (2020). Minds of gods and human cognitive constraints: Socio-ecological context shapes belief. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 10(3): 223-238.

Møller, A., Pedersen, H. F., Ørnbøl, E., Jensen, J. S., Purzycki, B. G., and Schjødt, U. (2020). Beyond the socially desirable: Longitudinal evidence on individual prayer-wellbeing associations. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 30(4): 275-287.

Pisor, A. C., Gervais, M. M., Purzycki, B. G., and Ross, C. T. (2020).  Preferences and constraints: The value of economic games for measuring studying human sociality. Royal Society Open Science, 7(6): 192090.

Purzycki, B. G. (2020). Stumbling around the sacred: Some personal observations. The Secret Lives of Anthropologists: Lessons from the Field. Hewlett, Bonnie L. (ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 37-53.

Purzycki, B. G. and Bendixen, T. (2020). Examining values, virtues, and tradition in the Tyva Republic with free-list and demographic data. The New Research of Tuva, 11(4): 6-18.

Purzycki, B. G., Stagnaro, M. N., & Sasaki, J. (2020). Breaches of trust change the content and structure of religious appeals. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 14(1), 71-94.

Shaver, J. H., Power, E. A., Purzycki, B. G., Watts, J., Sear, R., Shenk, M. K., Sosis, R., and Bulbulia, J. A. (2020). Church attendance and alloparenting: An analysis of fertility, social support, and child development among English mothers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375(1805): 20190428.

Henrich, J., Bauer, M., Chytilova, J., Cassar, A., and Purzycki, B. G. (2019). War increases religiosity. Nature Human Behavior, 3(2): 129-135.

Lang, M., Purzycki, B.G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., Klocová, E. K., Handley, C., Lesorogol, C., Mathew, S., McNamara, R., Moya, C., Placek, C., Soler, M., Vardy, T., Weigel, J., Willard, A., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., Henrich, J. (2019). Moralistic gods, extended prosociality, and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286(1898): 20190202.

Purzycki, B. G., and Holland, E. (2019). Buddha as a god: An empirical assessment. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 31(4-5): 347-375.

Purzycki, B. G., and Lang, M. (2019). Identity fusion, outgroups, and sacrifice: A cross-cultural test. Cognition, 186: 1-6.

Purzycki, B. G. and Sosis, R. (2019). Gods, governments, and other strange beings: Cognitive processing speed and the moral relevance of what omniscient agents know. In Slone, D. Jason and McCorkle, W. (eds.). The Cognitive Science of Religion: A Methodological Introduction to Key Empirical Studies. London: Bloomsbury Press, pp. 23-32.

Cohen, E., Baimel, A., and Purzycki, B. G. (2018). Religiosity and resource allocation in Marajó, Brazil. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2):  168-184. Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G., and Kulundary, V. (2018). Buddhism, identity, and class: Fairness and favoritism in the Tyva Republic. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2): 205-226. Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G. and Watts, J. (2018). Reinvigorating the cooperative, comparative ethnographic sciences of religion. Free Inquiry, 38(3): 26-29.

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Baimel, A., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., and Norenzayan, A. (2018). The evolution of religion and morality: A synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2): 101-132. Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G., Pisor, A. C., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Henrich, J., McElreath, R., McNamara, R. A., Norenzayan, A., Willard, A. K., and Xygalatas, D. (2018). The cognitive and cultural foundations of moral behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(5): 490-501. Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G., Ross, C. T., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., and Henrich, J. (2018). Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross-cultural examination. PLOS One, 13(3): e0193856. Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G. (2017). Tyva Republic (Buddhism). Database of Religious History. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.

Purzycki, B. G., and Jamieson-Lane, A. (2017). AnthroTools: An R package for cross-cultural ethnographic data analysis. Cross-Cultural Research, 51(1):  51-74.

Purzycki, B. G. (2016a). The Evolution of Gods’ Minds in the Tyva Republic. Current Anthropology, 57(S13): S88-S104. Supplementary Materials.

Purzycki, B. G. (2016b). How Punitive, Omniscient Gods May Have Encouraged the Expansion of Human Society. The Conversation  [Republished in This View of Life; Israel Humanist Magazine (in Hebrew)].

Purzycki, B. G., and Baimel, A. (2016). Examining the Minds of Gods. MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks on Religion:  Mental Religion. Farmington Hills: MacMillan, pp. 45-60.

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.

Purzycki, B. G., and Willard, A. K. (2016). MCI Theory: A Critical Discussion [Target Article with Commentaries]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 6(3): 207-248.

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., and Henrich, J. (2016). Cross-cultural dataset for the Evolution of Religion and Morality ProjectScientific Data, 3: 16099. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.99.

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., and Henrich, J. (2016). Moralistic Gods, Supernatural Punishment and the Expansion of Human Sociality. Nature, 530(7590): 327-330. [Protocols and methods; R Scripts]

Shaver, J. H., Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2016). Evolutionary Theory in the Study of Religion. In Stausberg, Michael and Engler, Steven (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 124-136.

Purzycki, B. G. (2015). Inside the Mind of God. Aeon Magazine.

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.

Nichols, R., Lynn, J., and Purzycki, B. G. (2014). Toward a Science of Science Fiction: Applying Quantitative Methods to Genre Individuation. Scientific Study of Literature, 4(1): 25-45. Please email for electronic copy.

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.

Scott, I. M., Joseph, S. C., Boyette, A., Gibson, M., Hewlett, B., Jamieson, M., Jankowiake, W., Honey, P. L., Huang, Z., Purzycki, B. G., Shaver, J., Sosis, R., Sugiyama, L. S., Swamij, V., Yuk, D. W., Zhao, Yangke, Penton-Voak, I. (2014). Human Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Faces May Be Evolutionarily Novel. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11(40): 14388-14393.

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.

Purzycki, B. G. (2013a). The Minds of Gods:  A Comparative Study of Supernatural Agency. Cognition, 129(1): 163-179. Supplementary materials. [NOTE: One of the nonmoral items in the USA sample is missing from the Supplementary Appendix. That question is: “…how tall I am?” This item was included in the analyses. You can verify this in my dissertation in the analyses throughout and on page 419 that has the items. Thanks JB!]

Purzycki, B. G. (2013b). Toward a Cognitive Ecology of Religious Concepts:  An Example from the Tyva Republic. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 1(1): 99-120.

Purzycki, B. G. (2013c). Tyva Republic (Shamanism, Animism, and Totemism). Database of Religious History. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.

Purzycki, B. G., and Arakchaa, T. (2013). Ritual Behavior and Trust in the Tyva Republic. Current Anthropology, 54(3): 381-388.  Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2013). The Extended Religious Phenotype and the Adaptive Coupling of Ritual and Belief. Israel Journal for Ecology and Evolution, 59(2): 99-108.

Purzycki, B. G., Finkel, D. N., Shaver, J., Wales, N., Cohen, A. B., and Sosis, R.  (2012). What Does God Know? Supernatural Agents’ Access to Socially Strategic and Nonstrategic InformationCognitive Science, 36(5): 846-869.  Supplementary materials.

Purzycki, B. G. (2011a). Humor as Violation and Deprecation:  A Cognitive Anthropological Account. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 11(1-2):  217-230.

Purzycki, B. G. (2011b). Tyvan Cher Eezi and the Socioecological Constraints of Supernatural Agents’ Minds. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 1(1): 31-45.

Purzycki, B. G., & Gibson, K. (2011). Religion and Violence: An Anthropological Study on Religious Belief and Violent Behavior. Skeptic, 16(2):  22-27.

Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2011). In Frey, Ulrich (ed.). Our Gods:  Variation in Supernatural Minds. Essential Building Blocks of Human Nature.  New York:  Springer-Verlag, pp. 77-93.

Purzycki, B. G. (2010a). Cognitive Architecture, Humor and Counterintuitiveness:  Retention and Recall of MCIs. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 10(1-2):  189-204.

Purzycki, B. G. (2010b). Spirit Masters, Ritual Cairns, and the Adaptive Religious System in Tyva. Sibirica, 9(2): 21-47. Please email for electronic copy.

Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2010). Religious Concepts as Necessary Components of the Adaptive Religious System. In Frey, Ulrich (ed.). The Nature of God:  Evolution and Religion. Marburg:  Tectum Verlag, pp. 37-59.

Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2009). The Religious System as Adaptive:  Cognitive Flexibility, Public Displays, and Acceptance.  In Voland, Eckart & Schiefenhövel, Wulf (eds.). The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior. New York:  Springer-Verlag, pp. 243-256.

Purzycki, B. G. (2006). Conceptions of Humor:  Lakota (Sioux), Koestlerian, and Computational. Nebraska Anthropologist, 21:168-188.

Purzycki, B. G. (2005a). The Degree of Chimpanzee Theory of Mind and the Evolution of Modularity.  Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, 30:59-67.

Purzycki, B. G. (2005b). Theory of Mind in Chimpanzees:  A Rationalist Approach.  Nebraska Anthropologist, 20:70-92.

Purzycki, B. G. (2004). Comparison of the Traditional and Contemporary Extended Family Units of the Hopi and Lakota (Sioux):  A Study of the Deterioration of Kinship Structures and Functions.  Nebraska Anthropologist, 19:16-31.

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Commentaries and Book Reviews

Purzycki, B. G. (2020). Institutions, natural selection(s), and religion. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 10(1): 77-84.

Purzycki, B. G. (2019). A review of Ruy Llera Blanes and Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic (eds.). Being Godless: Ethnographies of Atheism and Non-Religion. Anthropos, 114(1): 232-234.

Blackwell, A. D., and Purzycki, B. G. (2018). Shamanism and efficacious exceptionalism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41: e69.

Shaver, J. H., and Purzycki, B. G. (2018). The evolution of religious diversity. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(4): 444-447.

Purzycki, B. G. (2017). Some comments on the alleged innateness of religion. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 49(4-5):  411-421.

Purzycki, B. G. (2016). Why Did Supernatural Punishment Arise? Nautilus, 13: 17.

Purzycki, B. G., and Willard, A. K. (2016). Accounting for Variation and Stability in Religious Cognition [Reply to Commentaries]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 6(3): 266-274.

Purzycki, B. G., and McNamara, R. A. (2015). Ecology, Consensus, and Variation: Issues with Time and Persistence in Religious Systems. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 5(3): 250-253.

Purzycki, B. G. (2014). On the Dark Side of Religion and Other Forms of Impression Management. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 2(1): 29-34. [Republished in: Martin, L. H., and Wiebe, M. (eds.), (2016). Conversations and Controversies in the Scientific Study of Religion:  Collaborative and Co-authored Essays by Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe. Boston: Brill, pp. 157-162.]

Purzycki, B. G. (2013). A review of Frans de Waal, The Bonobo and the Atheist:  In Search of Humanism among the Primates. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 88(4): 342.

Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2013). Comment for “Cooperation in Context:  Public Goods Games and Post-Soviet Collectives in Kamchatka, Russia”. Current Anthropology, 54(2): 166-167.

Purzycki, B. G. (2012). A review of Alan Barnard, Social Anthropology and Human Origins. Anthropos, 107(1): 233-234.

Swartwout, P., Purzycki, B. G., and Sosis, R. (2012).  Form and Function in Religious Signaling under Pathogen Stress. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35(2): 92-93.

Purzycki, B. G., Swartwout, P., and Sosis, R. (2008). Searching for Darwin:  Metaphor, Collusion, and Natural Selection. A review of Lyle B. Steadman and Craig T. Palmer, The Supernatural and Natural Selection: Religion and Evolutionary Success. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(4): 628-636.

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Dissertation and Thesis

Purzycki, B. G. (2012).  Finding Minds in the Natural World:  Dynamics of the Religious System in the Tyva Republic.  Doctoral Dissertation, University of Connecticut.

Purzycki, B. G. (2006). Myth, Humor, and Ontological Templates:  A Study of the Retention and Transmission of Mythical-Religious Ideas. M. A. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.