Skip to the main content
Alt Text

Signaling Theory and the Evolution of Religion

Richard Sosis, director of the Evolution, Cognition, and Culture Program at the University of Connecticut

Monday, February 8, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

This talk is part of The Psychology and Economics of Trust and Honesty speaker series, led by Berkman Fellow Judith Donath and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Law Lab. For more related to Sosis' talk, see this page.

From Richard:

The performance of costly religious behaviors poses a genuine challenge for those who employ egoistic-based models to explain human behavioral variation. Researchers from diverse disciplines have suggested that rituals and other religious behaviors serve as signals of an individual's commitment to a religious group, and some have argued that increased levels of commitment facilitate intra-group cooperation and trust. Here I present results from recent studies that aim to test this claim and I will discuss the relevance of these results for resolving current adaptationist-byproduct debates on the evolution of religion. 

About Richard

Richard Sosis is an associate professor of anthropology and director of the Evolution, Cognition, and Culture Program at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include the evolution of cooperation, utopian societies, and the behavioral ecology of religion. To explore these issues, he has conducted fieldwork with remote cooperative fishers in the Federated States of Micronesia and with various communities throughout Israel, including Ultra-Orthodox Jews and members of secular and religious kibbutzim.

Links

Past Event
Feb 8, 2010
Time
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

You might also like


Events 05

Event
Jan 11, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Brain Bases of Deception: Why We Probably Will Never Have a Perfect Lie Detector

Stephen M. Kosslyn, Dean of Social Science and John Lindsley Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Associate Psychologist in the Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital

Different brain systems are used when one produces lies in different ways, such as by fabricating lies spontaneously "on the fly" versus fabricating them on the basis of a… More

Event
Jan 25, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Transformed Social Interaction in Virtual Reality

Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab and an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford

In this talk, Jeremy will describe a series of projects that explore the manners in which avatars (representations of people in virtual environments) qualitatively change the… More

Event
Feb 22, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Whither Blind Justice? Effects of Physiognomy on Judicial Decisions

Leslie Zebrowitz, Brandeis University

Research shows that peoples’ facial appearance influences impressions of their honesty and judgments of their culpability, effects that have been shown to bias decisions in the… More

Event
Mar 8, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

The hierarchy of virtue: mutualism, altruism, and signaling in Martu women’s cooperative hunting

Rebecca Bliege Bird, Stanford University

Rebecca Bliege Bird will discuss the question "Why do Martu women hunt cooperatively when they don't seem to benefit economically from doing so?" and suggests that demonstrating a… More

Event
Apr 5, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Old Habits Die Hard: Can Technology Change Deception?

Jeff Hancock, Cornell University

In this talk, Jeff will consider some of the myths commonly held about deception, and use the intersection of technology and deception to surface and rethink our assumptions about… More


Projects & Tools 01

Law Lab

The Law Lab is a multidisciplinary research initiative and collaborative network of University, nonprofit and industry partners. Its mission is to investigate and harness the… More