Western individualism, independence, prosocialism traced back to Church’s ban on incest: study

www.christianpost.com | 11/18/2019 | Staff
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The tendency for people in societies classified as western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic — WEIRD — to be more individualistic, independent, impersonally prosocial and less conforming has been traced to a ban by the medieval Western Church on incest, according to a recent study.

Study - Church - Kinship - Variation - Researchers

The study, The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation, by researchers Jonathan F. Schulz, Duman Bahrami-Rad, Jonathan P. Beauchamp and Joseph Henrich, was published in the journal Science on Nov. 8.

Previous studies have long noted that WEIRD people are consistent psychological outliers compared to the other 85 percent of the world’s population. On psychological tests, people from the West were also found to be more analytical while the vast majority of people around the world think more intuitively in a way psychologists describe as “holistic thought.”

Years - Thomas - Talhelm - Associate - Professor

A few years ago as well, Thomas Talhelm, associate professor of behavioral science at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Thomas Cooley professor of ethical leadership at New York University Jonathan Haidt and a team of other researchers also found in another study that Liberals Think More Analytically (More “WEIRD”) Than Conservatives.

“In five studies with more than 5,000 participants, we found that liberals think more analytically (an element of WEIRD thought) than moderates and conservatives. Study 3 replicates this finding in the very different political culture of China, although it held only for people in more modernized urban centers,” the researchers said. “These results suggest that liberals and conservatives in the same country think as if they were from different cultures. Studies 4 to 5 show that briefly training people to think analytically causes them to form more liberal opinions, whereas training them to think holistically causes shifts to more conservative opinions.”

Church - Kinship - Variation - Researchers

In The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation, researchers argue...
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