Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, Vol 1, No 1 (2013)

Normative Cognition in Culture and Religion

Jeppe Sinding Jensen
Issued Date: 4 Aug 2013


‘Normative Cognition’ is a theoretical model of human cognition as driven, modulated and governed by symbolically mediated inter-subjective social norms and conventions. The conditions for normative cognition are biological and cultural because norms and values are transmitted in thought, behavior, and institutions via symbolic, i.e., cultural media. Normative cognition and culture are thus considered mutually constitutive. As a domain of culture, religion has had enduring functions in both individual and collective human cognition. This programmatic article outlines first the nature of and the methodological framework for normative cognition and then the necessary evolved foundations in dual processing and cultural coding. Recent moral psychology then provides an explanatory link between innate dispostions and enculturation that enable the developing of moral agents. Religious rituals provide influential examples of the formation of normative cognition. Finally, the normative cognition model is applied and debated in samples of cognitive and semantic governance in culture and religion.

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DOI: 10.1558/jcsr.v1i1.47


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