Explaining illness with evil: Pathogen prevalence fosters moral vitalism

Brock Bastian, Christin-Melanie Vauclair, Steve Loughnan, Paul Bain, Ashwini Ashokkumar, Maja Becker, Michal Bilewicz, Emma Collier-Baker, Carla Crespo, Paul W. Eastwick, Ronald Fischer, Malte Friese, Ángel Gómez, Valeschka M. Guerra, Jose Luis Castellanos Guevara, Katja Hanke, Nic Hooper, Li-Li Huang, Shi Junqi, Minoru Karasawa, Peter Kuppens, Siri Leknes, Müjde Peker, Cesar Pelay, Afoditi Pina … & William B. Swann
Pathogens represent a significant threat to human health leading to the emergence of strategies designed to help manage their negative impact. We examined how spiritual beliefs developed to explain and predict the devastating effects of pathogens and spread of infectious disease. Analysis of existing data in Studies 1 and 2 suggests that moral vitalism (beliefs about spiritual forces of evil) is higher in geographical regions characterized by historical higher levels of pathogens. Furthermore, drawing on...
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11 downloads reported since publication in 2019.

These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?