Publication details

Effects of sorcery beliefs on parochial prosociality in Mauritius

Authors

KUNDTOVÁ KLOCOVÁ Eva LANG Martin MAŇO Peter KUNDT Radek XYGALATAS Dimitrios

Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description While previous studies testing evolutionary models of religious morality found that beliefs in moralizing and punitive gods decrease local favoritism and increase resource-sharing with distant co-religionists, the effects of beliefs related to local supernatural agents have not been extensively explored. Nam (the spirit of a deceased person) beliefs are quite ambiguous because the spirit may be linked to ancestor worship but also to the practice of sorcery (illegal in Mauritius). Importantly, previous studies suggested that sorcery beliefs and practices can have a damaging impact on social bonds and trust, but such research is often limited by social stigma associated with sorcery and relevant comparison with other local deities is often missing. We show that endorsing the sorcery mode of belief in nam together with performing rituals toward nam was associated with larger probability of breaking the game rules for selfish outcomes in the Random Allocation Game (compared to the ancestor worship mode).
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