Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Evolution, Cooperation, and Religion as adaptation James A. Van Slyke.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Evolution, Cooperation, and Religion as adaptation James A. Van Slyke."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution, Cooperation, and Religion as adaptation James A. Van Slyke

2 Human Altruism From Self Interest to Other Interest – Attachment – Empathy – Nonhuman Primates Social mechanisms – Food sharing – Coalition building – Sexuality

3 Kin Selection Helping behaviors vary according to genetic relatedness (Hamilton 1964) – Monetary rewards to family Members (Dunbar 1996) – Monetary rewards by grandparents (get source) Movement from direct relatives (children) to other relative (cousins, uncles, etc.) Increased circle of concern

4 Reciprocal Altruism Beneficial acts toward another performed if reasonable expectation for return on investment (Trivers 1971) – Early hunter-gatherer societies could facilitate this type of exchange – EP – evolution of cognitive adaptations for social exchange

5 Economic Game Theory Games played between two players – Ultimatum game Player one offers sum of money to player two Player two can either accept or reject offer If player two doesn’t accept neither gets anything Rational approach = player two should accept any offer Human approach = low offers are rejected

6 Prisoner’s dilemma Two person are arrested on criminal charges – Two options Testify against the other person (Defect) Remain silent (Cooperative) – Outcomes Testify while other cooperates – Player 1 no jail time – Player 2 12 months jail time Remain silent (6 months jail time) Both testify (5 months jail time) Variations of the game demonstrate that human subjects prefer cooperative strategies over defecting (Fehr & Camerer 2007)

7 Mechanisms for Social Exchange Persons will punish others for playing unfair even at a personal cost to themselves (de Quervain et. al. 2004) Participants watching a game where players were given a brief electrical shock (Singer et. al. 2006) – Fair players elicited an empathetic response from observers – Unfair players elicited a desire for revenge

8 Indirect Reciprocity Forming a reputation as a good partner could facilitate future alliances (Alexander 1987) – Computational modeling of scenario (Nowak and Sigmund 1998) Ability to keep track of those who shared and those who didn’t Cooperation could spread even if players did not meet up again directly

9 Costly Signaling Theory Religious morality and beliefs serve as indicator of trustworthiness in other persons Levels of religious commitment used as a predictor of reciprocal exchange Religious behavior can be costly – Monetary commitments – Rituals – Helping others

10 Economic commitments During poor economic conditions, Muslims contributed more to Mosques (Chen 2006) – Increased religious commitment and fidelity – Increased religious violence against out-group members Stronger religious identity insured economic resources if need arose

11 Religious vs. Secular commitment Comparative analysis shows that religious communities are much more likely to survive in contrast to secular communities (Sosis 2000) Higher levels of religious commitment is correlated with community longevity (Sosis & Bressler 2003) Religious members of an Israeli Kibbutz more likely to be altruistic in economic games (Sosis & Ruffle 2003)

12 Does Religion make one Altruistic? Difficult question to answer Classic Study (Darley & Bateson 1973) – Priests asked to give a talk on the Good Samaritan On the way to give the talk they see a person lying alone in an alleyway Percentage of persons who helped was based on how soon they had to give talk – Overall 40% actually helped the victim » 63% – not hurried » 45% – medium hurried » 10% - high hurried

13 Supernatural monitoring Non-religious monitoring – Eyes on a computer screen increases monetary offers in economic games (Haley & Feesler 2005) – Image of eyes placed above a collection box for drinks during a party increased the amount of money collected (Bateson, Nettle & Roberts 2006)

14 Supernatural Monitoring Supernatural agents – “Haunted” classroom decreased cheating on a test (Bering, McLeod & Shakelford 2005) – Presence of “Princess Alice” decreased the investigation of a forbidden box among 3-year- olds (Bering & Parker 2006)

15 Supernatural monitoring Implicitly activated religious concepts increase offers during economic game (Shariff and Norenzayan 2007) – Participants work on word scrambles – Some scrambles include religious words (spirit, divine, God, sacred, prophet) – Staring with $10 Religious primes = mean offer of $4.22 Without religious primes = mean offer of $1.82

Download ppt "Evolution, Cooperation, and Religion as adaptation James A. Van Slyke."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google