• Publications
  • Influence
The folk psychology of souls.
  • J. Bering
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • The Behavioral and brain sciences
  • 1 October 2006
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 socialExpand
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Intuitive Conceptions of Dead Agents' Minds: The Natural Foundations of Afterlife Beliefs as Phenomenological Boundary
Little is known about how the minds of dead agents are represented. In the current experiment, individuals with different types of explicit afterlife beliefs were asked in an implicit interview taskExpand
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The natural emergence of reasoning about the afterlife as a developmental regularity.
Participants were interviewed about the biological and psychological functioning of a dead agent. In Experiment 1, even 4- to 6-year-olds stated that biological processes ceased at death, althoughExpand
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The Existential Theory of Mind
The primary causal explanatory model for interpreting behavior, theory of mind, may have expanded into corridors of human cognition that have little to do with the context in which it evolved,Expand
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A critical review of the “enculturation hypothesis”: the effects of human rearing on great ape social cognition
  • J. Bering
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Animal Cognition
  • 5 March 2004
Numerous investigators have argued that early ontogenetic immersion in sociocultural environments facilitates cognitive developmental change in human-reared great apes more characteristic of HomoExpand
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Hand of God, Mind of Man: Punishment and Cognition in the Evolution of Cooperation*
The evolution of human cooperation remains a puzzle because cooperation persists even in conditions that rule out mainstream explanations. We present a novel solution that links two recent theories.Expand
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The development of afterlife beliefs in religiously and secularly schooled children.
Children aged from 4;10 to 12;9 attending either a Catholic school or a public, secular school in an eastern Spanish city observed a puppet show in which a mouse was eaten by an alligator. ChildrenExpand
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Children's Tattling: the reporting of everyday norm violations in preschool settings.
Tattling, defined as the reporting to a second party of norm violations committed by a third party, is a frequent but little-studied activity among young children. Participant observation andExpand
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Concerns about reputation via gossip promote generous allocations in an economic game
In the present study, a modified dictator game was used to test the hypothesis that the threat of gossip would encourage prosocial decision making. All participants were asked to distribute anExpand
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