Is religion what we want? Motivation and the cultural transmission of religious representations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Many psychologists and philosophers have suggested that religious ideas emerge because they are motivationally attractive. This paper attempts to support a version of the motivational thesis by relying on religious creeds as a source of historical evidence. This simple source of evidence indicates that the cultural evolution of religious ideas is partly a function of the motivational attractiveness of the religious ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-371
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this