Michael J. Doane is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Michael received his B.A. in psychology at Hobart College in Geneva, New York and his M.A. in social psychology at UNR. His research focuses on the intersection of social identity, group processes and intergroup relations, and psychological well-being. In terms of research on religion, Michael is interested how people belonging to religious minority groups cope with social stigma. A recent study of his examined how atheists in the United States protect their psychological and physical well-being from the negative effects of perceived discrimination. Michael’s e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When belief in God was distilled into belief in a mean God (i.e., vengeful, and punishing) versus belief in a nice God (i.e., compassionate and forgiving), participants endorsing a mean-God concept were less likely to cheat relative to nice-God supporters. In his book Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict, Dr. Ara Norenzayan addresses two “puzzles” about human existence. First, how were large-scale societies able to develop?