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). His research focuses on explaining religious beliefs and behaviors, their evolutionary origins, psychological impact, and culturally diverse manifestations. He is also interested in documenting and understanding universality and cultural diversity in psychology. His findings have been covered by major international media, such as the BBC World Service, The New York Times Magazine, the Economist, Der Spiegel, the National Post, and the New Scientist. He is the author of Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. He grew up in Beirut and lives in Vancouver.
Big Gods: 1. Watched people are nice people, 2. Religion is more in the situation than in the person, 3. Hell is stronger than heaven, 4. Trust people who trust in God, 5. Religious actions speak louder than words, 6. Unworshipped Gods are impotent Gods, 7. Big Gods for Big Groups, 8. Religious groups cooperate in order to compete.