Research Article

The Church, intensive kinship, and global psychological variation

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Science  08 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6466, eaau5141
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5141

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Cultural evolution

There is substantial variation in psychological attributes across cultures. Schulz et al. examined whether the spread of Catholicism in Europe generated much of this variation (see the Perspective by Gelfand). In particular, they focus on how the Church broke down extended kin-based institutions and encouraged a nuclear family structure. To do this, the authors developed measures of historical Church exposure and kin-based institutions across populations. These measures accounted for individual differences in 20 psychological outcomes collected in prior studies.

Science, this issue p. eaau5141; see also p. 686

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