Moral intuitions and religiosity as spuriously correlated life history traits

Paul Gladden, Jessica Welch, Aurelio J Figueredo, William J Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Religions promote moral rules of behavior and religiosity is associated with some types of moral intuitions, but there is no ultimate-level explanation for this association. Religiosity has recently been used as an indicator of a multivariate measure of slow Life History (LH) strategy. In this study, we predicted that LH strategy relates to increased strength of moral intuitions as measured by morally dumbfounding intuitions, reactions to violations of the ethics of autonomy, community, and divinity, and disgust sensitivity. Results of an exploratory factor analysis revealed that a 3-factor solution was optimal: (1) Religiosity (2) Moral Intuitions, (3) LH strategy. Comparisons of three path-analytic structural models indicated that only one model had an acceptable fit. In that model, slow LH strategy directly influenced religiosity and moral intuitions, which were, as a result, spuriously correlated. We discuss implications for LH theory and for the relation between religion and moral intuitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Psychology
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

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Intuition
intuition
life history trait
life history
religion
Religion
life history theory
ethics
autonomy
factor analysis
Structural Models
structural model
Ethics
Statistical Factor Analysis
Life History Traits
moral philosophy
community

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Disgust
  • Life History theory
  • Moral intuitions
  • Religiosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Moral intuitions and religiosity as spuriously correlated life history traits. / Gladden, Paul; Welch, Jessica; Figueredo, Aurelio J; Jacobs, William J.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 7, No. 2, 01.06.2009, p. 167-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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