Religion helps foster trust, say psychologists
Religion makes people more helpful, honest and generous but only when they think it will enhance their reputation or when they think about the possibility of a god, according to a report by psychologists.
The study draws together evidence from anthropology, economics and psychology, and its authors say it supports the notion that in early societies religion helped foster social cohesion and larger groups by encouraging cooperation.
"One reason we now have large, cooperative societies may be that some aspects of religion, such as 'outsourcing' costly social policing duties to all-powerful gods, made societies work more cooperatively in the past," said Azim Shariff, at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver
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