PhD, University of Michigan, 1999
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.
Dr. Norenzayan is on sabbatical leave in 2022-23.
Research interests include cultural and religious diversity; cultural evolution; cooperation and conflict; the psychology of metaphysical and supernatural beliefs; sacred values; human-nature interactions.
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. (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.
White, C. J. M., Muthukrishna, M., & Norenzayan., A. (2021). Cultural similarity among co-religionists within and between countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (37): e2109650118.
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)