Authoritarian and benevolent god representations and the two sides of prosociality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Big Gods model focuses on belief in an authoritarian God as a psychological mechanism that inhibits antisocial behavior and facilitates the formation of tight cohesive groups. Recent empirical evidence suggests however that belief in a benevolent God is more likely to inspire helping and inclusivity. Both kinds of beliefs are necessary to explain the development of large-scale societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e16
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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