Articles and Chapters

The articles and chapters below can be downloaded for personal use only; they are not intended for sale or widespread dissemination.

2023 and in press:

Billet, M. I., Baimel, A., Sahakari, S. S., Shaller, M., & Norenzayan, A. (in press). Ecospirituality: The Psychology of Moral Concern for NatureJournal of Environmental Psychology.

Bendixen, T., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Henrich, J., McNamara, R. A., Norenzayan, A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., and Purzycki, B. G. (in press). Appealing to the minds of gods: Religious beliefs and appeals correspond to features of local social ecologies [Target Article with Commentaries]Religion, Brain and Behavior.

Hoogeveen, S., Sarafoglou, A., … Norenzayan, A. …van Elk, M., Wagenmakers, E. (In press). Many-Analysts Approach to the Relation Between Religiosity and Well-being. Religion, Brain and Behavior. doi: 10.1080/2153599X.2022.2070255.

Pasek, M. H., Kelly, J. M., Shackleford, C., White, C.J.M., Vishkin, A., Smith, J., Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A., & Ginges, J. (2023). Thinking About God Encourages Prosociality Toward Religious Outgroups: A Cross-Cultural Investigation. Psychological Science, 0(0).


White, C. J. M., & Norenzayan, A. (2022).  Karma and God: Convergent and divergent mental representations of supernatural norm enforcement.  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 14(1), 70–85. doi: 10.1037/rel0000436.


White, C. J. M., Muthukrishna, M., & Norenzayan, A. (2021). Cultural similarity among coreligionists within and between countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(37).

White, C. J. M., & Norenzayan, A. (in press).  Karma and God: Convergent and divergent mental representations of supernatural norm enforcement.  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Preprint.

Beheim, B., Atkinson, Q.D., Bulbulia, J. et al. Treatment of missing data determined conclusions regarding moralizing gods. Nature 595, E29–E34 (2021).

Baimel, A., White, C. J. M., Sarkissian, H. & Norenzayan, A. (2021). How is analytical thinking related to religious belief? A test of three theoretical models. Religion, Brain & Behavior.

White, C. J. M., Baimel, A. & Norenzayan, A. (2021). How cultural learning and cognitive biases shape religious beliefs. Current Opinion in Psychology, 40, 34-39.

White, C. J., Willard, A. K., Baimel, A., & Norenzayan, A. (2021). Cognitive pathways to belief in karma and belief in GodCognitive Science45(1), e12935.


White, C. J., Norenzayan, A., & Schaller, M. (2020). How strongly do moral character inferences predict forecasts of the future? Testing the moderating roles of transgressor age, implicit personality theories, and belief in karma. Plos one15(12), e0244144.

Willard, A. K., Cingl, L., & Norenzayan, A. (2020). Cognitive biases and religious belief: A path model replication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with a focus on anthropomorphism. Social Psychological and Personality Science11(1), 97-106.

Apicella, C., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2020). Beyond WEIRD: A review of the last decade and a look ahead to the global laboratory of the futureEvolution and Human Behavior, 41(5), 319-329.


White, C. J. M., Kelly, J., Shariff, A. & Norenzayan, A. (2019). Supernatural norm enforcement: Thinking about karma and God reduces selfishness among believers. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 84.

Willard, A. K., Cingl, L. & Norenzayan, A. (2019). Cognitive Biases and Religious Belief: A path model replication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with a focus on anthropomorphism. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 

White, C., & Norenzayan, A. (2019). Belief in Karma: How cultural evolution, cognition, and motivations shape belief in supernatural justice. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 60, pp. 1–63). doi: 10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.03.001.

Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q. D., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., . . . Henrich, J. (2019). Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286, 1-10. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0202  

McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2019). Weighing outcome vs. intent across societies: How cultural models of mind shape moral reasoning. Cognition.

Buchtel, E. E., Ng, L. C. Y., Norenzayan, A., Heine, S. J., Biesanz, J. C., Chen, S. X., . . . Su, Y. (2018). A sense of obligation: Cultural differences in the experience of obligation. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 146167218769610.

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

White, C. J. M., Norenzayan, A., & Schaller, M. (2018). The content and correlates of belief in karma across cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Gervais, W. M., Norenzayan, A. (2018). Analytic atheism revisited. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 609.

Baimel, A., Birch, S. A. J., Norenzayan, A. (2018). Coordinating bodies and minds: Behavioral synchrony fosters mentalizing. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 74, 281-290.

Purzycki, B., Ross, C., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R., . . . Henrich, J. (2018). Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross-cultural examination. Plos One, 13(3), e0193856.

Norenzayan, A. (2017). What can cultural evolution tell us about the human conquest of the planet? In What can evolution tell us about morality? Chicago, IL: Center for Humans & Nature.

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J. & Norenzayan, A., eds. (2017). The evolution of religion and morality: The random allocation game in eight societies [special issue]. Religion, Brain and Behavior.

Purzycki, B. G., Norenzayan, A., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Baimel, A., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., & Henrich, J. (2017). The evolution of religion and morality: A synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies. Religion, Brain and Behavior.

White, C., Baimel, A., & Norenzayan, A. (2017). What are the causes and consequences of belief in karma? Religion, Brain & Behavior.

Willard, A. K. & Norenzayan, A. (2017). “Spiritual but not religious”: Cognition, schizotypy, and conversion in understanding alternative beliefs. Cognition, 165, 137-146.

McNamara, R. A., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016). Supernatural punishment, in-group biases, and material insecurity: Experiments and ethnography from Yasawa, Fiji. Religion, Brain & Behavior6, 34-55.

Norenzayan, A. (2016). The Origins of Religion. In D. M. Buss, Ed., Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, 2nd Ed.

Norenzayan, A. (2016). Theodiversity. Annual Review of Psychology, 67, 21.1-21.24.

Norenzayan, A. (2016). Theodiversity. In J. Brockman (Ed.), Edge Volume: [What do you consider the most important [scientific] news? What makes it important?](

Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W. M., Willard, A., McNamara, R.,Slingerland, E., & Henrich, J. (2016). The cultural evolution of prosocial religions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences [Target Article].

Norenzayan, A. Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W. M., Willard, A., Slingerland, E., & Henrich, J. (2016). Parochial prosocial religions: Historical and contemporary evidence for a cultural evolutionary process. [Response to Commentaries].

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

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016). Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality. Nature.

Shariff, A. F., Willard, A. K., Andersen, T., & Norenzayan, A. (2016). Religious Priming: A metanalysis with a focus on prosociality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20, 27-48.

Willard, A. K., Henrich, J. & Norenzayan, A.(2016). Memory and belief in the transmission of counterintuitive content. Human Nature, 27(3), 221-243.

Willard, A. K., Shariff, A. F., & Norenzayan, A. (2016). Religious priming as a research tool for studying religion: Evidentiary value, current issues, and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology, 12, 71-75.

Norenzayan, A. (2015). Big questions about Big Gods: response and discussion. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 5(4), 327-342.

Norenzayan, A., & Gervais, W. M. (2015). Secular rule of law erodes believers’ political intolerance of atheists. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 5(1), 3-14.

Norenzayan, A. (2014). Does religion make people moral? Behaviour, 151 365-384.

Norenzayan, A., Henrich, J, & E. Slingerland (2013). Religious Prosociality: A Synthesis. In P. J. Richerson & M. H. Christiansen (Eds.), Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language and Religion. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. (Link to Book)

Slingerland, E., Henrich, J., & A. Norenzayan (2013) The evolution of prosocial religions. In P. J. Richerson & M. H. Christiansen (Eds.), Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language and Religion. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Gervais, W. M., & Norenzayan, A. (2013). Religion and the origins of anti-atheist prejudice. Link to book chapter In S. Clarke, R. Powell, & J. Savulescu (Eds.), Intolerance and Conflict: A Scientific and Conceptual Investigation Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Willard, A. K., & Norenzayan, A. (2013). Cognitive biases explain religious belief, paranormal belief, and belief in life’s purpose. Cognition, 129, 379-391.Norenzayan, A., & Gervais, W. M. (2013). The origins of religious disbelief. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17_ 20-25.

Norenzayan, A., Gervais, W., & Trzesniewski, K. (2012). Mentalizing deficits constrain belief in a personal God. PLoS ONE, 7, e36880.

Gervais, W. M. & Norenzayan, A. (2012). Analytic thinking promotes religious disbelief. Science, 336, 493-496.

Gervais, W. M. & Norenzayan, A. (2012). Reminders of secular authority reduce believers’ distrust of atheists. Psychological Science, doi:10.1177/0956797611429711.

Norenzayan, A. (March 17, 2012). The idea that launched a thousand civilizations. New Scientist, 213, pp-42-44. [cover story].

Norenzayan, A., & Gervais, W. (2012). The cultural evolution of religion. In E. Slingerland & M.Collard (Eds.) Creating Consilience: Integrating science and the humanities. (pp. 243-265). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gervais, W. M., & Norenzayan, A. (2012) Like a camera in the sky? Thinking about God increases public self-awareness and socially desirable responding. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 298-302.

Gervais, W. M., Shariff, A. F., & Norenzayan, A. (2011). Do you believe in atheists? Distrust is central to anti-atheist prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1189-1206.

Gervais, W., Willard, A., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2011). The cultural transmission of faith: Why innate intuitions are necessary, but insufficient, to explain religious belief. Religion, 41,389-410.

Norenzayan, A. (2011). Explaining human behavioral diversity. Science, 332, 1041-1042.Shariff, A. F., & Norenzayan, A. (2011). Mean Gods make good people: Different views of God predict cheating behavior. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21, 85-96.

Ginges, J., Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). Religious belief, coalitional commitment and support for suicide attacks: Response to Liddle, Machluf and Shakelford. Evolutionary Psychology8, 346-349.

Falk, C., Dunn, E., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). Cultural variation in the importance of expected emotions in decision making. Social Cognition.

Henrich, J., Heine, S.J., & Norenzayan A., (2010). Most People are not WEIRD. Nature, 466, pp. 29.

Norenzayan, A., & Lee, A. (2010). It was meant to happen: Explaining cultural variations in fate attributions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 702-720.

Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., & Gervais, W. M. (2010). The evolution of religious misbelief.Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32, 531-532.

Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world?Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61-135.

Norenzayan, A. (2010). Why we believe: Religion as a human universal. In H. Hogh-Oleson, (Ed.) Human Morality and Sociality: Evolutionary & Comparative perspectives (pp. 58-71). Palgrave, Macmillan.

Norenzayan, A., Schaller, S., & Heine, S. J. (2010). Introduction. In M. Schaller, A. Norenzayan, S. J., Heine, T. Yamagishi, & T. Kameda (Eds.), Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind. (pp. 1-5) Psychology Press-Taylor & Francis.

Shariff, A., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2010). The birth of high gods. In M. Schaller, A. Norenzayan, S. J., Heine, T. Yamagishi, & T. Kameda (Eds.), Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind. (pp. 119-136). Psychology Press-Taylor & Francis.

Norenzayan, A., Dar-Nimrod, I., Hansen, I. G., & Proulx, T. (2009). Mortality Salience and Religion: Divergent Effects on the Defense of Cultural Values for the Religious and the non-Religious. European Journal of Social Psychology 39, 101-113.

Ginges, J., Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. (2009). Religion and support for suicide attacks.Psychological Science, 20, 224-230.

Buchtel, E. E. & Norenzayan, A. (2009). Thinking across cultures: Implications for dual processes. In J. Evans & K. Frankish, (Eds.), In two minds: Dual processes and beyond. (pp. 217-238). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Norenzayan, A., & Shariff, A. F. (2008). The origin and evolution of religious prosociality.Science, 322, 58-62.Buchtel, E.E. & Norenzayan, A. (2008). Which should you use, intuition or logic? Cultural differences in injunctive norms about reasoning. Asian Journal of Social Psychology. 11, 264–273.

Shariff, A. F., Cohen, A. B., & Norenzayan, A. (2008). The Devil’s Advocate:  Secular arguments diminish both implicit and explicit religious belief. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 8, 417-423.

Norenzayan, A., Hansen, I. G., & Cady, J. (2008). An Angry Volcano? Reminders of Death and Anthropomorphizing Nature. Social Cognition, 26, 190-197.

Heine, S., Buchtel, E., & Norenzayan, A. (2008). What do Cross-National Comparisons of Personality Traits Tell Us? The Case of Conscientiousness. Psychological Science, 19, 309-313.

Norenzayan, A. (2007). La psychologie interculturelle du raisonnement. In S. Rossi & J. Van der Henst (Eds.) Les psychologies du raisonnement (pp. 169-189). Brussels: De Boeck.

Shariff, A.F. & Norenzayan, A. (2007). God is watching you: Priming God concepts increases prosocial behavior in an anonymous economic game. Psychological Science, 18, 803-809.

Norenzayan, A., Choi, I., & Peng, K. (2007). Cognition and perception. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Psychology (pp. 569-594). New York: Guilford Publications.

Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2006). Toward a psychological science for a cultural species.Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 251-269.

Norenzayan, A., Atran, S., Faulkner, J., & Schaller, M. (2006). Memory and mystery: The cultural selection of minimally counterintuitive narratives. Cognitive Science, 30, 531-553.

Norenzayan, A., & Hansen, I. G. (2006). Belief in supernatural agents in the face of death.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 174-187.

Norenzayan, A., & Schwarz, N. (2006). Conversational Relevance in the Presentation of the Self. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 37, 51-54.Norenzayan, A. (2006). Evolution and transmitted culture. Psychological Inquiry, 17, 123-128.

Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. (2006). Between yang and yin and heaven and hell: Untangling the complex relationship between religion and intolerance. In: (P. McNamara, Ed.), Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion. Vol. 3, pp. 187-211. Wesport, CT: Greenwood Press–Praeger Publishers.

Norenzayan, A., Schaller, M., & Heine, S. (2006). Evolution and culture. In M. Schaller, J. Simpson, & D. Kenrick (Eds.), Evolution and Social Psychology (pp. 343-366). New York: Psychology Press.

Norenzayan, A. (2006). Cultural variation in reasoning. In R. Viale, D. Andler, & L. Hirschfeld (Eds.), Natural and Cultural Bases of Human Inference (pp. 71-95). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Norenzayan, A., & Heine, S. J. (2005). Psychological universals: What are they and how can we know? Psychological Bulletin, 135, 763-784.

Atran, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2004). Religion’s evolutionary landscape: Counterintuition, commitment, compassion, communion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 713-770.

Atran, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2004). Why minds create gods: Devotion, deception, death, and arational decision making. [reply to commentators]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 713-770.

Norenzayan, A., & Atran, S. (2004). Cognitive and emotional processes in the cultural transmission of natural and nonnatural beliefs. In M. Schaller & C. Crandall (Eds.), The Psychological Foundations of Culture (pp 149-169). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Choi, I., Choi, J., & Norenzayan, A. (2004). Culture and Decisions. In D. J. Koehler & N. Harvey (Eds.) (pp. 504-524), Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Norenzayan, A., Smith, E. E., & Kim, B., & Nisbett, R. E. (2002). Cultural preferences for formal versus intuitive reasoning. Cognitive Science, 26, 653-684. (Study 2 Stimuli)

Norenzayan, A., Choi, I., & Nisbett, R.E. (2002). Cultural similarities and differences in social inference: Evidence from behavioral predictions and lay theories of behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 109-120.

Nisbett, R.E., & Norenzayan, A. (2002). Culture and cognition. In H. Pashler & D. L. Medin (Eds.), Stevens Handbook of Experimental Psychology : Cognition (3d Ed., Vol. 2) (pp. 561-597). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Prior to 2002:
Levine, R.V., Norenzayan, A., & Philbrick, K. (2001). Cultural differences in the helping of strangers. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 32, 543-560.

Nisbett, R.E., Peng, K., Choi, I., & Norenzayan, A. (2001). Culture and systems of thought: Holistic versus analytic cognition. Psychological Review, 108, 291-310.

Norenzayan, A., & Nisbett, R. E. (2000). Culture and causal cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9, 132-135.

Norenzayan, A., & Schwarz, N. (1999). Telling what they want to know: Participants tailor causal attributions to researchers’ interests. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 1011-1020.

Choi, I., Nisbett, R.E., & Norenzayan, A. (1999). Causal attribution across cultures: Variation and universality. Psychological Bulletin,125, 47-63.

Levine, R.V., & Norenzayan, A. (1999). The Pace of life in 31 countries. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 30, 178-205.

Norenzayan, A., Choi, I., & Nisbett, R.E. (1999). Eastern and Western perceptions of causality for social behavior: Lay theories about personalities and situations. In D. A. Prentice & D. T. Miller (Eds.), Cultural divides: Understanding and overcoming group conflict (pp. 239-272). New York: Sage.

Levine, R.V., Norenzayan, A., & Klicperova-Baker, M. (1999). Civility in a cross-cultural perspective. In M. Klicperova-Baker (Ed.), Ready for democracy? Civic culture and civility with a focus on Czech Society (pp. 161-184). Prague: Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.