Save

The (possible) Cognitive Naturalness of Witchcraft Beliefs: An Exploration of the Existing Literature

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
Author: Nora Parren1
View More View Less
  • 1 University of LyonLyonFrance
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

Cross-culturally, misfortune is often attributed to witchcraft despite the high human and social costs of these beliefs. The evolved cognitive features that are often used to explain religion more broadly, in combination with threat perception and coalitional psychology, may help explain why these particular supernatural beliefs are so prevalent. Witches are minimally counter intuitive, agentic, and build upon intuitive understandings of ritual efficacy. Witchcraft beliefs may gain traction in threatening contexts and because they are threatening themselves, while simultaneously activating coalitional reasoning systems that make rejection of the idea costly. This article draws possible connections between these cognitive and environmental features with an eye toward future empirical examination.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 526 287 88
Full Text Views 523 141 0
PDF Views & Downloads 430 345 0