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|Title:||Explaining illness with evil: pathogen prevalence fosters moral vitalism|
Eastwick, Paul W.
Guerra, Valeschka M.
Guevara, José Luis Castellanos
Yeung, Victoria Wai-Lan
Swann, William B.
|Title:||Proceedings of the Royal Society of London|
|Publisher/Platform:||The Royal Society|
|Year of Publication:||2019|
|Publikation type:||Journal Article|
|Abstract:||Pathogens represent a significant threat to human health leading to the emergence of strategies designed to help manage their negative impact. We examined how spiritual beliefs developed to explain and predict the devastating effects of pathogens and spread of infectious disease. Analysis of existing data in studies 1 and 2 suggests that moral vitalism (beliefs about spiritual forces of evil) is higher in geographical regions characterized by historical higher levels of pathogens. Furthermore, drawing on a sample of 3140 participants from 28 countries in study 3, we found that historical higher levels of pathogens were associated with stronger endorsement of moral vitalistic beliefs. Furthermore, endorsement of moral vitalistic beliefs statistically mediated the previously reported relationship between pathogen prevalence and conservative ideologies, suggesting these beliefs reinforce behavioural strategies which function to prevent infection. We conclude that moral vitalism may be adaptive: by emphasizing concerns over contagion, it provided an explanatory model that enabled human groups to reduce rates of contagious disease.|
|DOI of the first publication:||10.1098/rspb.2019.1576|
|URL of the first publication:||https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.1576|
|Link to this record:||hdl:20.500.11880/29797|
|Date of registration:||1-Oct-2020|
|Faculty:||HW - Fakultät für Empirische Humanwissenschaften und Wirtschaftswissenschaft|
|Department:||HW - Psychologie|
|Professorship:||HW - Prof. Dr. Malte Friese|
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