Belief in God: Why People Believe, and Why They Don’t

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Mercier, Brett; Kramer, Stephanie R.; Shariff, Azim F.
Year of Publication: 2018
Journal: Current Directions in Psychological Science
Volume: 27
Issue: 4
Pagination: 263 - 268
Date Published: 2018/08/01
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0963-7214

Belief in a god or gods is a central feature in the lives of billions of people and a topic of perennial interest within psychology. However, research over the past half decade has achieved a new level of understanding regarding both the ultimate and proximate causes of belief in God. Ultimate causes?the evolutionary influences on a trait?shed light on the adaptive value of belief in God and the reasons why a tendency toward this belief exists in humans. Proximate causes?the immediate influences on the expression of a trait?explain variation and changes in belief. We review this research and discuss remaining barriers to a fuller understanding of belief in God.


doi: 10.1177/0963721418754491

Short Title: Curr Dir Psychol Sci
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