Explaining illness with evil: pathogen prevalence fosters moral vitalism

Brock Bastian, Christin-Melanie Vauclair, Steve Loughnan, Paul Bain, Ashwini Ashokkumar, Maja Becker, Michal Bilewicz, Emma Collier-Baker, Carla Crespo, Paul W. Eastwick, Ronald Fischer, Malte Friese, Ángel Gómez, Valeschka M. Guerra, José Luis Castellanos Guevara, Katja Hanke, Nic Hooper, Li-Li Huang, Shi Junqi, Minoru KarasawaPeter Kuppens, Siri Leknes, Müjde Peker, Cesar Pelay, Afroditi Pina, Marianna Sachkova, Tamar Saguy, Mia Silfver-Kuhalampi, Florencia Sortheix, Jennifer Tong, Victoria Wai-lan Yeung, Jacob Duffy, William B. Swann Jr.

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Abstrakti

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.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
Artikkeli20191576
LehtiProceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
Vuosikerta286
Numero1914
Sivumäärä10
ISSN0962-8452
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 6 marraskuuta 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu

Tieteenalat

  • 5144 Sosiaalipsykologia

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