Forthcoming Journal Articles

Willard, A. K., & McNamara, R. A. (in press). The Minds of God(s) and Humans: Differences in Mind Perception in Fiji and North America. Cognitive Science. DOI:10.1111/cogs.12703


Published Journal Articles


McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2019). Weighing outcome vs. intent across societies: How cultural models of mind shape moral reasoning. Cognition, 182, 95–108. [OSF Project here]


McNamara, R.A. & Neapi, S. (2018) Decolonizing Community Psychology by Supporting Indigenous Knowledge, Projects, and Students: Lessons from Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada. American Journal of Community Psychology. 62(3-4), 340-349,DOI:10.1002/ajcp.12296

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.39(5): 490-501,

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. 38(2): 197-207, 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. 8(4):432-434,

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.39, E1, 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, E29, 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., & Henrich J. (2014). Impartial institutions, pathogen stress and the expanding social network. Human Nature. 25(4):567-579.


Peer-reviewed Book Chapters

McNamara, R.A. (2019) “Which God is Watching?” In D.J. Slone & W.W. McCorkle (Eds.) The Cognitive Science of Religion: A Methodological Introduction to Key Empirical Studies. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Purzycki, B.G., & McNamara, R.A. (2015) “An Ecological Theory of Gods’ Minds.” In H. De Cruz & R. Nichols (Eds.), Cognitive science of religion and its philosophical implications. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.



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. & Neha, T. (under review) Keeping Cultural in Cultural Evolutionary Psychology: Culture shapes Indigenous psychologies in specific ecologies. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

McNamara, R. A. & Fischer, R.(under review). An evolutionary framework of the emergence and variability of cultural norms. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

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

Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., Handley, C., Kundtová Klocová, E., Lesorogol, C., Mathew, S., McNamara, R. A., Moya C., Placek, C., Soler, M., Vardy, T., Weigel, J. L., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (under review) Moralizing gods, extended prosociality, and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the National Academy B.