Why are some societies more individualistic & impersonally pro-social? What explains heterogeneity? Could it be the legacy of the Western Church, undermining kin relationships in the Middle Ages (banning cousin marriages)? Mind-blowing new paper. 🤯
Some thoughts on "The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation" in today. Its the most theoretically ambitious paper I've encountered, maybe ever. 1/ jonathan beauchamp
Fascinating paper here argues that the medieval western church’s hostility to cousin marriage became a key long-term driver of individualistic, high-trust societies.
How the Catholic Church made our families nuclear and us WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Fascinating new Science study
This is why democratizing the Middle East is easier said than done
Brilliant new paper by ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ & co suggesting that the historical spread of family/marriage policies by Roman Catholicism broke down kin-based networks, paving the way for a more individualistic, independent, WEIRD psychology
A new Science study that looks at the influence of the Medieval Catholic Church highlights how cultural changes more than 500 years ago can evolve and seed significant and long-lasting psychological variation, both within and across nations. Read more:
schulz et al. have done a lot of fabulous work here (), but they're still missing out on two critical points: 1) evolution can be recent, rapid, and local; 2) how viscous populations are *overall* likely affects the genetical evolution of social behavior.
"longer exposure to the Western Church is associated with less intensive kinship, greater individualism, less conformity, and more fairness and trust toward strangers"
A very cool paper addressing big questions about the origins of cross-societal variation in human psychology. Well done , et al!
How the Medieval Church shaped European family patterns and ultimately psychology. "The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation" - , , J. Beauchamp PowerPoint:
Striking study on the role of the church in global psychological variation.
There is strong evidence that the roots of democracy stretch out far deeper than enlightenment-linked ideas.
Recent: variation in religion-based rules on relatedness in marriage consequence for the extended kin group in cool project with #trust #cooperation #science #nature #kinship #demographic #transition #socialnetwork
New paper in Science examines the role that the cultural influence of the 'Western Church' (later Catholicism) had on the development of WEIRD psychology (authors include , , ).
Published in frigging ? At least HBDChicks stolen ideas have found a nice home.
I love the UN parking ticket analysis. Who chooses to still abide by parking laws, even with no punishment, and who doesn't? Study:
You can find the study here: You''ll find a lot more evidence. For example, we compare regions within European countries. We also show that the link between kin-networks and psychology holds independently of the European experience.
Research article
Fascinating potential implications of Social Learning. Work by The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation
, , Beauchamp & "The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation" Science Early spread of Catholicism broke down kin-based institutions, encouraged nuclear family structure
Medieval Church shapes European family patterns and ultimately psychology > ...contemporary psychological patterns, ranging from individualism and trust to conformity and analytical thinking, have been influenced by deep cultural evolutionary processes...
The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation Thoughts?
WEIRD hypothesis: the good stuff due to the influence of the Roman Catholic church!
So, if a behavior becomes expected by historical accident (eg. marriage customs; see below), then an arbitrary norm may become self-reinforcing. This means that observed human behaviors cannot be assumed to be adaptive. Psychology must incorporate history
Spread of the Catholic church broke down intensive kinship, focused on nuclear family and changed patterns of psychological variation -
The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation
“the Western Church (i.e., the branch of Christianity that evolved into the Roman Catholic Church) transformed European kinship structures during the Middle Ages and that this transformation was a key factor behind a shift towards a WEIRDer psychology.”
"…contemporary psychological patterns, ranging from individualism and trust to conformity and analytical thinking, have been influenced by deep cultural evolutionary processes, including the Catholic Church’s peculiar incest taboos and family policies…"
Whoah ... The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation