“A balanced and considered approach to this often inflammatory topic.” (Nature
“A colorful romp through psychology, philosophy and popular culture.” (New Humanist
“Witty... [Bering] employs examples and analogies that make his arguments seem like common sense rather than the hard-earned scientific insights they really are.” (New Scientist
“Bering ranges comfortably among evolutionary biology, psychology and philosophical concerns, and finds the good science in belief.” (Kirkus Reviews
“Jesse Bering is a brilliant young psychologist, a gifted storyteller, a careful reader of Jean-Paul Sartre, and a very funny man. And his first book, The Belief Instinct
, is a triumph-a moving, provocative, and entertaining exploration of the human search for meaning.” (Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“Since God didn't exist, our human ancestors found it necessary to invent him. In this scintillating book, Jesse Bering explains, with characteristic wit and wisdom, how, in the course of human evolution, God returned the compliment—by helping individuals, despite themselves, lead better lives.” (Nicholas Humphrey, author of Seeing Red
“There's a place in our minds where God goes. This spellbinding book explains how: We humans find the idea of God inviting because we evolved to perceive minds all around us. Bering's own clever research on children's perceptions of the supernatural is the centerpiece in his rich portrayal of the newly unfolding science of belief in God.” (Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard University, author of The Illusion of Conscious Will
About the Author
Jesse Bering, Ph.D.
, is a frequent contributor to Scientific American, Slate
, and Das Magazin
. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, The Guardian
, and The New Republic
, and has been featured on NPR, the BBC, Playboy Radio, and more. Bering is the former director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen's University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives near Ithaca, New York.