2018 and in press

  1. Purzycki, B. G., Pisor, A. C., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., Henrich, J., McElreath, R., McNamara, R. A., Norenzayan, A., Willard, A. K., and Xygalatas, D (in press). The Cognitive and Cultural Foundations of Moral Behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior.

  2. Purzycki, B. G., Ross, C. T., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2018). Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross-cultural examination. PloS one, 13(3), e0193856. pdf

  3. Busch J.T.A., Willard A.K., Legare C.H. (2018) Explanation Scaffolds Causal Learning and Problem Solving in Childhood. In: Saylor M., Ganea P. (eds) Active Learning from Infancy to Childhood. Springer, Cham.​ link

  4. Purzycki, B. G., Norenzayan, A., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., and Henrich, J. (2018). The Evolution of Religion and Morality: A Synthesis of Ethnographic and Experimental Evidence from Eight Societies. Religion Brain and Behavior, 8:2, 101-132, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267027 pdf

  5. Willard, A. K. (2018). Religion and Prosocial Behaviour among the Indo-Fijians. Religion Brain and Behavior, 8:2, 227-242, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267032 pdf


  1. Willard, A. K. & Cingl, L. (2017). Testing Theories of Religion and Secularization in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Evolution and Human Behavior. pdf
  2. Willard, A. K. & Norenzayan, A. (2017). “Spiritual But Not Religious”: cognition, schizotypy, and conversion in understanding alternative beliefs. Cognition, 165, 137–146. pdf


  1. Purzycki, B.G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., Henrich, J. (2016). Cross-cultural dataset for the Evolution of Religion and Morality Project. Scientific Data, 3, 160099. link
  2. Shariff, A. F., Willard, A. K., Muthukrishna, M., Kramer, S., & Henrich, J. (2016). What is the Association Between Religious Affiliation and Children’s Altruism? Current Biology, 26, R699-R700. pdf
  3. Willard, A. K., Shariff, A. F. & Norenzayan, A. (2016). Religious Priming as a research tool for studying religion: Evidentiary Value, Current Issues, and Future Directions. Current Opinions in Psychology, 12, 71-75. pdf
  4. Willard, A. K., Henrich, J. &  Norenzayan, A. (2016). Memory and Belief in the Transmission of Counterintuitive Content. Human Nature, 27, 221-243. pdf
  5. Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W., Willard, A. K., McNamara, R. A., Slingerland, E. & Henrich, J. (2016). Parochial prosocial religions: Historical and contemporary evidence for a cultural evolutionary process. [Reply to Commentaries]. Behavior and Brain Sciences. pdf
  6. Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W., Willard, A. K., McNamara, R. A., Slingerland, E. & Henrich, J. (2016). The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions [Target Article]. Behavior and Brain Sciences. pdf
  7. Purzycki, B.G., Apicella, C. , Atkinson, Q. , Cohen, E. , McNamara, R. A. , Willard, A. K. , Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. , Henrich, J. (2016). Moralizing Gods, Supernatural Punishment, and the Expansion of Human Sociality. Nature, 530, 327–330. [email for pdf]
  8. Shariff, A. F., Willard, A. K., Andersen, T. & Norenzayan, A. (2016). Religious Priming: A Meta-Analysis With a Focus on Prosociality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20, 27-48. pdf
  9. Purzycki, B. G., & Willard, A. K. (2016). Accounting for Variation and Stability in Religious Cognition [Reply to Commentaries]. Religion, Brain and Behaviour, 6, 266-274. pdf
  10. Purzycki, B. G. & Willard, A. K. (2016) MCI Theory: A Critical Discussion [Target Article]. Religion Brain and Behaviour, 6, 207-248.pdf


  1. Willard, A. K. & Norenzayan A. (2013). Cognitive Biases Explain Religious Belief, Paranormal Belief, and Belief in Life’s Purpose. Cognition, 129, 379-391. pdf
  2. Gervais, W., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2011). The Cultural Transmission of Faith: Why natural intuitions and memory biases are necessary, but insufficient, to explain religious belief. Religion, 41, 389-410. pdf

Commentaries etc.

  1. Willard, A. K., Nakawake, Y. & Jong, J. (in press). The Evolution of the Shaman’s Cultural Toolkit. [Commentary]. Behavior and Brain Sciences.
  2. Willard, A. K. & Baimel, A. (in press). The Evolution of Religion: An interdisciplinary approach. [Commentary]​. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.

  3. Willard, A. K. (2018). Agency Detection is Unnecessary in the Explanation of Religious Belief [Commentary]. Religion Brain and Behavior.pdf

  4. Willard, A. K. (2018). The Evolution of Culture as a New Pattern for Comparative Religion. [Book Commentary]. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. pdf

  5. Willard, A. K. (2017). Defining Religion [Commentary]. Religion Brain and Behavior. pdf

  6. Willard, A. K. & Legare, C. H. (2016) Ritual wellbeing: A simplified model [Commentary]. Religion Brain and Behavior, 39, e1. pdf

Manuscripts in Preparation and Under Review

  1. Willard, A. K., Busch, J., Sobel, D. M., Callanan, M. A., & Legare, C. H. (under review). Exploration and Explanation in a Museum Setting: how parent-child interactions impact children’s understanding of gears.

  2. Willard, A. K. & McNamara, R. A. (under review). The Minds of Gods and Humans: differences in mind perception in Canada and Fiji.

  3. McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (under review). Weighing Outcome Vs. Intent Across Societies. preprint

  4. Willard, A. K., Cingl L., & Norenzayan, A. (under review). Cognitive Biases Explain Belief: A model replication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  5. Willard, A. K., & Henrich J. (in prep). Do as I do not as I say: Credibility Enhancing Displays in the laboratory.
  6. McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K. & Norenzayan, A. (in prep). God’s mind on Morality: a knowing God is a punishing God.
  7. Baimel, A., McNamara, R. A., Purzycki, B. G., Willard, A. K., & Norenzayan, A. (in prep). An Mentalized God is a Believable God.