Forthcoming Journal Articles

McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (forthcoming). Weighing Outcome vs. Intent Across Societies: How cultural models of mind shape moral reasoning. Cognition. [OSF Project here]

Published Journal Articles


McNamara, R. A. & Fischer, R. (2018). Adding Culture and Context Improves Evolutionary Theorizing About Human Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 41, E181. doi:10.1017/S0140525X1800047X

McNamara, R.A., & Henrich, J. (2018). Jesus vs. the Ancestors: How specific religious beliefs shape prosociality on Yasawa Island, Fiji. Religion Brain & Behavior, 8(2): 185-204, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267030

Purzycki, B.G., Pisor, A.C., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Henrich, J., McElreath, R.,  McNamara, R.A., Norenzayan, A., Willard, A., & Xygalatas, D. (2018). The Cognitive and Cultural Foundations of Moral Behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior.

Purzycki, B.G., Ross, C.T., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2018). Material Security, Life History, and Moralistic Religions: A Cross-Cultural Examination. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193856.

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q.D., Baimel, A., Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A.K., Dimitris Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. (2018). The evolution of religion and morality: a synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 8:2, 101-132, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267027


McNamara, R. A., & Henrich, J. (2017). Kin and Kinship psychology both influence cooperative coordination in Yasawa, Fiji. Evolution and Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.09.004

McNamara, R. A. (2017). Re-contextualizing the Re-explanation: Understanding Religion Requires Accounting for Both Ecological and Social Dynamics. Religion Brain & Behavior.

Chudek, M., McNamara, R.A., Birch, S., Bloom, P., & Henrich, J. (2017) Do Minds Switch Bodies? Dualist interpretations across ages and societies. Religion Brain & Behavior. [OSF Project here]


McNamara, R.A., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016) Supernatural punishment, in-group biases, and material insecurity: Experiments and ethnography from Yasawa, Fiji. Religion Brain and Behavior. 6(1), 34-55. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2014.921235

Purzycki, B.G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016). Moralizing Gods, Supernatural Punishment and the Expansion of Human Sociality. Nature. 530(7590), 327–330. doi:10.1038/nature16980

Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W. M., Willard, A., McNamara, R.A., Slingerland, E., & Henrich, J. (2016). The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. doi:10.1017/S0140525X14001356, e0

Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A., Gervais, W., Willard, A., McNamara, R.A., Slingerland, E., & Henrich, J. (2016). Parochial prosocial religions: Historical and contemporary evidence for a cultural evolutionary process. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39. doi:10.1017/S0140525X15000655

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016). Cross-cultural dataset for the evolution of religion and morality project. Scientific Data. 3, 160099 EP –.


Purzyki, B. G., McNamara, R.A. (2015) Ecology, Consensus, and Variation: Issues with Time and Persistence in Religious Systems. Religion Brain and Behavior. 5(3): 250-253.


Hruschka D., Efferson C., Jiang T., Falletta-Cowden A., Sigurdsson S., McNamara R.A., Sands M., Munira S., Slingerland E., and Henrich J. (2014). Impartial institutions, pathogen stress and the expanding social network. Human Nature. 25(4):567-579.

Book Chapters

McNamara, R.A. (forthcoming) “Which God is Watching?” In D.J. Slone & W.W. McCorkle (Eds.) Empirical Studies in the Cognitive Science of Religion. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Purzycki, B.G., McNamara, R.A. (2015) “An Ecological Theory of Gods’ Minds” Cognitive science of religion and its philosophical implications.


Under Review

McNamara, R.A., (under review). Weathering the Storm: Supernatural belief and cooperation in an insecure world. Contribution to special issue of Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture. [OSF Project here]

McNamara, R.A. & Purzycki, B.G (revise & resubmit) Minds of Gods and Human Cognitive Constraints: Socio-ecological context shapes belief. Religion, Brain and Behavior.

McNamara, R.A. & Neapi, S. (under review) Decolonizing Community Psychology by Supporting Indigenous Knowledge, Projects, and Students: Lessons from Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada. Submitted to the American Journal of Community Psychology.

Willard, A. K., & McNamara, R. A. (revise & resubmit). The Minds of God(s) and Humans: Differences in Mind Perception in Fiji and Canada. Cognitive Science.