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Azim Shariff (Religion, Morality, Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology)
Office: 329 Straub Hall
Phone Number: (541) 346-4963
E-mail address: shariffuoregon [dot] edu
Web Page: http://sharifflab.com/
Research Interests and Publications:
Dr. Shariff's primary line of research explores the evolutionary origins of and psychological mechanisms underlying moral/pro-social behavior, with a special focus on the positive and negative social consequences of religions and related cultural systems. Questions that are covered include: How does religion encourage generosity, honesty, prejudice and conflict? What are the psychological and social consequences of different religious (and secular) beliefs and rituals? What functions did religious and secular cultural institutions emerge to serve and how do they adapt in modern society?
Dr. Shariff will not be accepting new master's students for Fall 2013.
Dr. Shariff also has ongoing research interest in the following (example research questions in parentheses):
-Free will, Determinism and Mechanistic Thinking (e.g. how will shifting views of human agency and psychology affect social behavior?)
-Charity, Morality and Happiness (e.g. what's the difference, psychologically, between charity, taxation and tithing?)
-The Evolutionary Psychology of Emotion (e.g. how do emotion expressions unknowingly bias our social interactions?)
Shariff, A.F., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2009). The Birth of High Gods: How the cultural evolution of supernatural policing agents influenced the emergence of complex, cooperative human societies, paving the way for civilization. In M. Schaller, A. Norenzayan, S. Heine, T. Yamagishi, & T. Kameda (Eds.), Evolution, Culture and the Human Mind (pp.117-136) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Shariff, A.F., & Tracy, J.L. (2009). Knowing Who’s Boss: Implicit Perceptions of Status from the Nonverbal Expression of Pride. Emotion, 9(5), 631-639.
Shariff, A.F., Schooler, J.W. & Vohs, K.D. (2008). The Hazards of Claiming to Have Solved the Hard Problem of Free Will. In J. Baer, J. Kaufman and R.F. Baumeister (Eds.). Psychology and Free Will (pp. 181-204). Oxford University Press.
Norenzayan, A. & Shariff, A.F. (2008) The Origin and Evolution of Religious Prosociality. Science, 322 (5898), 58-62.
Shariff, A.F., & Norenzayan, A. (2007). God is watching you: Supernatural agent concepts increase prosocial behavior in an anonymous economic game. Psychological Science, 18, 803-809.