In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion
- S. Atran
- Psychology, Biology
This book discusses the evolution of religion, the nature of belief, and the role of religion in the development of modern society.
Genesis of Suicide Terrorism
- S. Atran
- 7 March 2003
A first line of defense is to get the communities from which suicide attackers stem to stop the attacks by learning how to minimize the receptivity of mostly ordinary people to recruiting organizations.
Folk biology and the anthropology of science: Cognitive universals and cultural particulars
- S. Atran
- BiologyBehavioral and Brain Sciences
- 1 August 1998
An experiment illustrates that the same taxonomic rank is preferred for making biological inferences in two diverse populations: Lowland Maya and Midwest Americans, which supports a modular view of folk biology as a core domain of human knowledge and as a special player in the selection processes by which cultures evolve.
Religion's evolutionary landscape: Counterintuition, commitment, compassion, communion
Folkpsychology and agency provide the hope and promise of open-ended solutions through representations of counterfactual supernatural worlds that cannot be logically or empirically verified or falsified, because religious beliefs cannot be deductively or inductively validated.
Categorization and Reasoning among Tree Experts: Do All Roads Lead to Rome?
To what degree do conceptual systems reflect universal patterns of featural covariation in the world (similarity) or universal organizing principles of mind, and to what degree do they reflect…
The native mind: biological categorization and reasoning in development and across cultures.
The authors find that results gathered from standard populations in industrialized societies often fail to generalize to humanity at large, and certain phenomena are robust across populations, consistent with notions of a core module.
The Tree of Life: Universal and Cultural Features of Folkbiological Taxonomies and Inductions
- Alejandro López, S. Atran, J. Coley, D. Medin, Edward E. Smith
- BiologyCognitive Psychology
- 1 April 1997
Two parallel studies performed with members of very different cultures suggest that while building folkbiological taxonomies and using them for Folkbiological inductions is a universal competence of human cognition there are also important cultural constraints on that competence.
The Evolution of Religion: How Cognitive By-Products, Adaptive Learning Heuristics, Ritual Displays, and Group Competition Generate Deep Commitments to Prosocial Religions
Competition among societies and organizations with different faith-based beliefs and practices has increasingly connected religion with both within-group prosociality and between-group enmity, and this connection has strengthened dramatically in recent millennia.
Memory and Mystery: The Cultural Selection of Minimally Counterintuitive Narratives
We hypothesize that cultural narratives such as myths and folktales are more likely to achieve cultural stability if they correspond to a minimally counterintuitive (MCI) cognitive template that…
Cultural mosaics and mental models of nature
- Megan Bang, D. Medin, S. Atran
- PsychologyProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 28 August 2007
The results show that epistemological orientations affect memory organization, ecological reasoning, and the perceived role of humans in nature among Native Americans (Menominee) and European American children and adults living in close proximity in rural Wisconsin.