Dr. Ara Norenzayan is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and a co-director of UBC’s Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture (HECC). He has published widely on the evolutionary origins of religion, and the psychology of religious diversity in today’s globalized world. He is the author of Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict.
Research interests include thinking across cultures; religious cognition, supernatural beliefs; psychological foundations of culture; issues of cultural variability and universality; cultural evolution.
Dr. Norenzayan’s secondary research area is Cognitive Science.
Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q. D., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., . . . Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2019). Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286, 1-10. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0202
Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Gervais, W. M., Willard, A., McNamara, R., Slingerland, E., & Henrich, J. (2016). The cultural evolution of prosocial religions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, e1.
Norenzayan, A. (2016). Theodiversity. Annual Review of Psychology, 67, 21.1-21.24.
Norenzayan, A. (2013). Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Princeton University Press.
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61-83.
Norenzayan, A., & Shariff, A. F. (2008). The origin and evolution of religious prosociality. Science, 322, 58-62.
Norenzayan, A., & Heine, S. J. (2005). Psychological universals: What are they and how can we know? Psychological Bulletin, 135, 763-784.
For a full list of publications, visit Dr. Norenzayan’s website.
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2020)
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize (2017)
- APA Division 36 Psychology of Religion Sexton Mentoring Award (2017)
- Association for Psychological Science James McKeen Cattell Fund Sabbatical Fellowship (2014-2015)
- Association for Psychological Science Fellow (2014)
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology Fellow (2011)
- Killam Faculty Research Prize (2008)
- Society for the Experimental Social Psychology Fellow (2006)
- Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies – Early Career Scholar (2002)