Publications

Claessens, S., Kyritsis, T., & Atkinson, Q. D.  (2020). Revised analysis shows relational mobility predicts sacrificial behavior in Footbridge but not Switch or Loop trolley problems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 117 (24), 13203-13204.

Slingerland, E., Atkinson, Q. D.,  Ember, C. R., Sheehan, O., Muthukrishna, M., Bulbulia, J., & Gray, R. D. (2020). Coding culture: challenges and recommendations for comparative cultural databases. Evolutionary Human Sciences , 1-20.

Claessens, S., Fischer, K., Chaudhuri, A., Sibley, C. G., & Atkinson, Q. D.  (2020). The dual evolutionary foundations of political ideology. Nature Human Behaviour , 4:336–345.

Ruck, D. J., Matthews, L. J., Kyritsis, T., Atkinson, Q. D.,  & Bentley, R. A. (2020). The cultural foundations of modern democracies. Nature Human Behaviour , 4 (3), 265-269. doi:10.1038/s41562-019-0769-1 link

Lang, M., Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C. L., Atkinson, Q. D.,  Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., Handley, C., Klocová, E. K., Lesorogol, C., Mathew, S., McNamara, R. A., Moya, C., Placek, C. D., Soler, M., Vardy, T., Weigel, J. L., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2019) Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 286 (1898), 20190202. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0202

Vardy, T., & Atkinson, Q. D.  (2019). Property damage and exposure to other people in distress differentially predict prosocial behavior after a natural disaster. Psychological Science , 30 (4), 563-575.

Moravec, J. C., Atkinson, Q. D., Bowern, C., Greenhill, S. J., Jordan, F. M., Ross, R., Gray, R. D., Marsland, S. and Cox, M. P. (2018). Post-Marital Residence Patterns Show Lineage-Specific Evolution. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(6): 594–601. link

Savage, P. E., Cronin, C., Müllensiefen, D., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). Quantitative evaluation of music copyright infringement. In Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA2018) (pp. 61–66).

Tambets, K., Yunusbayev, B., Hudjashov, G., Ilumäe, A., Rootsi, S., Honkola, T., Vesakoski, O., Atkinson, Q. D., Skoglund, P., Kushniarevich, A., Litvinov, S., Reidla, M., Metspalu, E., Saag, L., Rantanen, T., Karmin, M., Parik, J., Zhadanov, S. I., Gubina, M., Damba, L. D., Bermisheva, M., Reisberg, T., Dibirova, K.,Evseeva, I., Nelis, M., Klovins, J., Metspalu, A., Esko, T., Balanovsky, O., Balanovska, E., Khusnutdinova, E. K., Osipova, L. P., Voevoda, M., Villems, R., Kivisild, T., Metspalu, M. (in press). Genes reveal traces of common recent demographic history for most of the Uralic speaking populations. Genome Biology. 19:139. link

Purzycki, B. G., Pisor, A. C., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., Henrich, J., McElreath, E., McNamara, R. A., Norenzayan, A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas D. (2018). The cognitive and cultural foundations of moral behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior.  DOI:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.04.004

Watts, J., Sheehan, O., Bulbulia, J., Gray, R. D. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). Christianity spread faster in small, politically structured societies. Nature Human Behaviour. DOI:10.1038/s41562-018-0379-3

Moravec, J. C., Atkinson, Q. D., Bowern, C., Greenhill, S. J., Jordan, F. M., Ross, R., Gray, R. D., Marsland, S. and Cox, M. P. (in press). Post-Marital Residence Patterns Show Lineage-Specific Evolution. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.002

Sheehan, O., Watts, J., Gray, R. D., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). Coevolution of landesque capital intensive agriculture and sociopolitical hierarchy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714558115

Purzycki B. G., Ross C. T., Apicella C., Atkinson Q. D., Cohen E., et al. (2018) Material security, life history, and moralistic religions: A cross-cultural examination. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193856. [link] [pdf]

Bouckaert, R., Bowern, C. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). The origin and expansion of Pama–Nyungan languages across Australia. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2:741-749. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0489-3

Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). Religion and expanding the cooperative sphere in Kastom and Christian Villages on Tanna, Vanuatu. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2):149-167. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267028

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D. & Norenzayan, A. (2018). The Evolution of Religion and Morality Project: A Synthesis of Ethnographic and Experimental Evidence from Eight Societies. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(2):101-132. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267027

Maurits, L., Forkel, R., Kaiping, G. A. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2017) BEASTling: a software tool for linguistic phylogenetics using BEAST 2. PLoS ONE. 12(8), e0180908.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180908 [pdf]

Purzycki, B. G., Henrich, J., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Baimel, A., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., & Norenzayan, A. (2018) The evolution of religion and morality: a synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 8:2, 101-132, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2016.1267027

Sookias, R. B., Passmore, S., Atkinson, Q. D. (2017). Deep cultural ancestry and human development indicators across nation states.  [pdf]

Botero, C. A., Harmon, L. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2017). The promise and limits of eco-evolutionary studies of human culture: a comment on Sloan Wilson et al. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 7(2): 153-155. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2015.1132249

Atkinson, Q. D., Coomber, T., Passmore, S., Greenhill, S. J. & Kushnick, G. (2016) Cultural and Environmental Predictors of Pre-European Deforestation on Pacific Islands. PLoS ONE, 11(5): e0156340. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156340

Purzycki, B.G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q.D.,Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A.K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., Henrich, J. (2016). Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality. Nature, 530, pages 327–330. DOI: 10.1038/nature16980

Watts, J., Sheehan, O., Atkinson, Q. D., Bulbulia, J. & Gray, R. D. (2016). Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies. Nature, 532:228-231. DOI: 10.1038/nature17159

Matthews, L. J., Passmore, S., Richard, P. M., Gray, R. D. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2016). Shared Cultural History as a Predictor of Political and Economic Changes among Nation States. PLoS ONE, 11(4): e0152979. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152979

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2016). Cross-cultural dataset for the Evolution of Religion and Morality Project. Scientific Data. 3:160099. DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2016.99

Saunders, T., Taylor, A. H. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2016). No evidence that a range of artificial monitoring cues influence online donations to charity in an MTurk sample. Royal Society Open Science, 3:150710. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150710 [pdf]

Ross, R. M. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2016). Cultural differentiation does not entail group-level structure: The case for geographically explicit analysis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39: e30. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X15000217

Purzycki, B. G., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., McNamara, R. A., Willard, A. K., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A. & Henrich, J. (2016). Moralistic Gods, Supernatural Punishment and the Expansion of Human Sociality. Nature, 530, 327-330. DOI: 10.1038/nature16980

Ross, R. M. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2016). Folktale transmission in the Arctic provides evidence for high bandwidth social learning among hunter-gatherer groups. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(1):47-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.08.001

Watts, J., Sheehan, O., Greenhill, S. J., Gnomes-Ng, S., Atkinson, Q. D., Bulbulia, J. & Gray, R. D. (2015). Pulotu: Database of Austronesian Supernatural Beliefs and Practices. PLoS ONE, 10(9): e0136783. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136783 [pdf]

Savage, P. E., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2015). Automatic tune family identification by musical sequence alignment. 16th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, 2015: 162-168.

Watts, J., Greenhill, S. J., Atkinson, Q. D., Currie, T. E., Bulbulia, J., & Gray, R. D. (2015). Broad supernatural punishment but not moralizing high gods precede the evolution of political complexity in Austronesia. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 282: 20142556. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2556 [pdf]

Atkinson, Q. D., Latham, A. & Watts, J. (2015). Are Big Gods a big deal in the emergence of big groups? Religion, Brain and Behavior. 5(4):266-274. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.928351

Long, J., Harré, N. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2015). Social clustering in high school transport choices. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 41:155-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.01.001

Watts, J., Bulbulia, J., Gray, R.D., & Atkinson, Q.D. (2014). Clarity and Causality Needed in Claims about Big Gods. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39:e1. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X15000576

Opie, C., Shultz, S., Atkinson, Q. D., Currie, T. & Mace, R. (2014). Phylogenetic reconstruction of Bantu kinship challenges main sequence theory of human social evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 111(49): 17414–17419. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415744111

Gardner, Paul; Addis, Donna Rose; Allen, Martin; Anderson, Barbara; Atkinson, Quentin D.; Bertler, Nancy; Bradley, Ashton; Bradley, Brendon; Cox, Murray P.; Drummond, Alexei; Fineran, Peter; Goldstone, David; Greenberg, Noam; Hay, Jennifer; Hodgkiss, Justin; Jacobsen, Jessie; Ru, Eric Le; Mace, Peter; Mayhew, Dillon; McKay, Rob; Montelle, Clemency; Moreham, Nicole; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Palmer, Suetonia; Patrick, Wayne M.; Poole, Anthony M.; Radford, Craig; Rattenbury, Nicholas J.; Reynolds, John N.J.; Shears, Nicholas; Shepherd, Lara; Sperry, Jonathan; Stanley, Elizabeth; Stouffer, Daniel B.; Tylianakis, Jason M.; Wanhalla, Angela; Willmott, Geoff; Woodfield, Tim (2014): NATIONAL STATEMENT OF SCIENCE INVESTMENT DRAFT: Response from Rutherford Discovery Fellows (2010-2013). [link]

Long, J., Harré, N. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2014). Understanding change in recycling and littering behavior across a school social network. American Journal of Community Psychology. 53(3):462-474. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-013-9613-3 [pdf]

Kamilar, J. M. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2014). Cultural assemblages show nested structure in humans and chimpanzees but not orangutans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 111(1):111-115. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1313318110

Shultz, S., Opie, C., Nelson, E., Atkinson, Q.D., Dunbar, R.I.M. (2014). Evolution of primate social systems: implications for hominin social evolution. Pages 317-332. In Lucy to Language: Benchmark Papers, Eds. R.I.M. Dunbar, C. Gamble and J.A.J. Gowlett. Oxford University Press (Oxford).

Opie, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Dunbar, R. I. M., & Shultz, S. (2014). Reply to Lukas and Clutton-Brock: Infanticide still drives primate monogamy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (17).

Opie, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Dunbar, R. I. M. & Shultz, S. (2013). Reply to Dixson: Infanticide triggers primate monogamy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110(51):E4938. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1403165111 [pdf]

Opie, C., Atkinson, Q. D., Dunbar, R. I. M. & Shultz, S. (2013). Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110(33):13328–13332. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307903110

Bulbulia, J., Geertz, A. W., Atkinson, Q. D., Cohen, E., Evans, N., Francois, P., Gintis, H., Gray, R. D., Henrich, J., Jordan, F., Norenzayan, A., Richerson, P. J., Slingerland, E., Turchin, P., Whitehouse, H., Widlok, T., Wilson, D. S. (2013). The Cultural Evolution of Religion. Pages 381-404 in Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion, Eds. P. Richerson and M. H. Christiansen. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 12, J. Lupp, series editor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01975-0

Gray, R. D., Greenhill, S. J., and Atkinson, Q. D. (2013). Phylogenetic models of language change: Three new questions. Pages 285-302 in Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion, Eds. P. Richerson and M. H. Christiansen. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 12, J. Lupp, series editor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Pagel, M., Atkinson, Q. D., Calude, A., & Meade (2013). Reply to Mahowald and Gibson and to Heggarty: No problems with short words, and no evidence provided. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 110 (35) E3255. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1309838110

Pagel, M., Atkinson, Q. D., Calude, A., & Meade (2013). Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110(21):8471–8476. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218726110

Atkinson, Q.D. (2013). The descent of words. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 110(11):4159-4160. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1300397110

Bulbulia, J. A., Greenhill, S. J., Atkinson, Q. D. & Gray, R. D. (2013). First shots fired for the phylogenetic revolution in religious studies: A commentary on David Sloan Wilson. Cliodynamics, 4(1):128-133.

Mullins, D. A., Whitehouse, H. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2013). The role of writing and recordkeeping in the cultural evolution of human cooperation. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 90:S141-S151. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.017

Ross, R. M., Greenhill, S. J. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2013). Population structure and cultural geography of a folktale in Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 280(1756). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.3065 [pdf]

Bulbulia, J., Atkinson, Q. D., Gray, R. D. & Greenhill, S. J. (2013). Why Do Religious Cultures Evolve Slowly?The Cultural Evolution of Cooperative Calling and The Historical Study of Religions. Pages 197-211. In Mind, Morality and Magic: Cognitive Science Approaches in Biblical Studies, Eds. I. Czachesz and R. Uro. Equinox Publishing (Sheffield).

Whitehouse, H., Mazzucato, C., Hodder, I. and Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Modes of religiosity and the evolution of social complexity at Çatalhöyük. Pages 134-158. In Vital Matters – Religion in the Organization and Transformation of a Neolithic Society. Ed. Ian Hodder. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781107239043.008

Bowern, C. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Computational Phylogenetics and the Internal Structure of Pama-Nyungan. Language, 88(4):817-845. DOI: 10.1353/lan.2012.0081

Opie, C., Atkinson, Q. D. & Shultz, S. (2012). The evolutionary history of primate mating systems. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 5(5):458-461. DOI: 10.4161/cib.20821

Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Accent as social sonar. Current Anthropology, 53(5):605-606.

Bouckaert, R., Lemey, P., Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Alekseyenko, A. V., Drummond, A. J., Gray, R. D., Suchard, M. A., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Mapping the origins and expansion of the Indo-European language family. Science, 337:957-960. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219669

Hoverd, W., Sibley C. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Group size and the trajectory of religious identification. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 51(2):286–303. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2012.01643.x

Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Response to Comments on “Phonemic Diversity Supports Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”. Science, 335, 1042. DOI: 10.1126/science.1215788

Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Response to Comments on “Phonemic Diversity Supports Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”. Science, 335, 657. DOI: 10.1126/science.1210005

Shultz, S., Opie, C. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Stepwise evolution of stable sociality in primates. Nature, 479:219-222. DOI: 10.1038/nature10601

Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Linking spatial patterns of language variation to ancient demography and population migrations. Linguistic Typology, 15, 321-332. DOI: 10.1515/LITY.2011.022

Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Phonemic Diversity Supports Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa. Science, 332:346-349. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199295

Bourrat, P., Atkinson, Q. D., and Dunbar, R. (2011). Supernatural punishment and individual social compliance across cultures. Religion, Brain and Behavior. 1(2), 119-134. [link]

Gray, R.D., Atkinson, Q. D. & Greenhill, S. J. (2011). Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 366:1090-1100. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0378 [pdf]

Atkinson, Q. D. & Whitehouse, H. (2011). The cultural morphospace of ritual form. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32:50-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.09.002

Atkinson, Q. D. & Bourrat, P. (2011). Beliefs about God, the afterlife and morality support the role of supernatural policing in human cooperation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32:40-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.07.008

Greenhill S. J, Atkinson Q. D., Meade A., & Gray R. D. (2010). The shape and tempo of language evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 277:2443-2450. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0051 [pdf]

Atkinson, Q. D. (2010). The prospects for tracing deep language ancestry. Journal of Anthropological Science, 88: 231-233. EID: 2-s2.0-77953919285

Atkinson, Q. D., Gray, R.D. & Drummond, A. J. (2009). Bayesian coalescent inference of major human mtDNA haplogroup expansions in Africa. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 276: 367-373. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0785 [pdf]

Atkinson, Q. D. (2009). Language Classification by Numbers (Review). Diachronica, 26(1): 125-133. [pdf]

Pagel, M. and Atkinson, Q. D. (2008). The potential for genetic adaptations to language. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 31(5): 529-530. [link]

Atkinson, Q. D., Meade, A. M., Venditti, C., Greenhill, S. J. and Pagel, M. (2008). Response to “Parsing the Evolution of Language”, Joseph, B. D. and Mufwene, S. S. Science, 320: 446.

Brock, G. and Atkinson, Q. D. (2008). What can examining the psychology of nationalism tell us about our prospects for aiming at the cosmopolitan vision? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 11(2): 165-179. [link]

Atkinson, Q. D., Meade, A. M., Venditti, C., Greenhill, S. J. and Pagel, M. (2008). Languages evolve in punctuational bursts. Science, 319: 588. DOI: 10.1126/science.1149683

Atkinson, Q. D., Gray, R. D. and Drummond, A. J. (2008). mtDNA variation predicts population size in humans and reveals a major southern Asian chapter in human prehistory. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(2):468-474. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msm277

Harré, N. and Atkinson, Q. D. (2007). Carbon Neutral by 2020: How New Zealanders can tackle climate change. Craig Potton Publishing (Nelson, New Zealand).

Pagel, M., Atkinson, Q. D. & Meade, A. (2007). Frequency of word-use predicts rates of lexical evolution throughout Indo-European history. Nature, 449: 717-20. [link]

Atkinson, Q. D. and Gray, R. D. (2006). How old is the Indo-European language family? Illumination or more moths to the flame? Pages 91-109 in Phylogenetic methods and the prehistory of languages Eds. J. Clackson, P. Forster and C. Renfrew. MacDonald Institute (Cambridge). [pdf]

Atkinson, Q. D. and Gray, R. D. (2006). Are Accurate Dates an Intractable Problem for Historical Linguistics? Pages 269-296 in Mapping our Ancestry: Phylogenetic Methods in Anthropology and Prehistory. Eds. C. Lipo, M. O’brien, S. Shennan & M. Collard. Aldine (Chicago).

Atkinson, Q. D. (2006). From Species to Languages – a phylogenetic approach to human history. PhD thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland.

Atkinson, Q. D. and Gray, R. D. (2005). Curious parallels, curious connections – Phylogenetic Thinking in Biology and Historical Linguistics, Systematic Biology, 54(4): 513-526. DOI: 10.1080/10635150590950317

Atkinson, Q. D., Nicholls, G., Welch, D. and Gray, R. D. (2005). From Words to Dates: Water into wine, mathemagic or phylogenetic inference? Transactions of the Philological Society, 103(2), 193-219. [link]

Gray, R. D. and Atkinson, Q. D. (2003). Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature, 426: 435-9. [link]