Dr Robert Ross

Personal profile


  • Belief formation (particularly religious belief and delusional belief)
  • Cultural evolution (particularly folktale evolution and language evolution)




Moravec, J. C., Atkinson, Q. D., Bowern, C., Greenhill, S. J., Jordan, F. M., Ross, R. M., Gray, R. D., Marsland, S., & 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

Howe, J., Ross, R. M., McKay, R., & Balzan, R. P. (in press). How do delusion-prone individuals respond to disconfirmatory evidence? Improving comprehension on the Beads Task may help. Zeitschrift für Psychologie.

Tappin, B., Ross, R. M., & McKay, R. (in press). Do the folk actually hold folk-economic beliefs? [invited commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Ross, R. M., & McKay, R. (2018). Shamanism and the psychosis continuum [invited commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e84. doi: 10.1017/s0140525x17002151

Jong, J., Ross, R. M., Philip, T., Chang, S-H., Simons, N., & Halberstadt, J. (2018). The religious correlates of death anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 8(1), 4-20. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2016.1238844

McKay, R., Ross, R. M., O’Lone, K., & Efferson, C. (2017). The error of god, revisited [invited commentary]. Religion, Brain & Behavior, published online ahead of print. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2017.1302983

Ross, R. M. & McKay, R. (2017). Why is belief in God not a delusion? Religion, Brain & Behavior, 7(4), 316-319. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2016.1249917

Pennycook, G., Ross, R. M., Koehler, D. J., & Fugelsang, J. A. (2017). Dunning-Kruger effects in reasoning: Further implications of the failure to recognize incompetence. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(6), 1774-1784. doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1242-7

Ross, R. M., Hartig, B., & McKay, R. (2017). Analytic cognitive style predicts paranormal explanations of anomalous experiences but not the experiences themselves: Implications for cognitive theories of delusions. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 56, 90-96. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.08.018

Ross, R. M., McKay, R., Coltheart, M., & Langdon, R. (2016). Perception, cognition, and delusion [invited commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, 47-48.  doi:10.1017/S0140525X15002691

Ross, R. M., Pennycook, G., McKay, R., Gervais, W. M., Langdon, R., & Coltheart, M. (2016). Analytic cognitive style, not delusional ideation, predicts data gathering in a large beads task study. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 21(4), 300-314. doi:10.1080/13546805.2016.1192025

Pennycook, G., Ross, R. M., Koehler, D. J., & Fugelsang, J. A. (2016). Atheists and agnostics are more reflective than religious believers: Four empirical studies and a meta-analysis. PLOS ONE, 12(4), e0153039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153039

Ross, R. M. & Atkinson, Q. D. (2016). Cultural differentiation does not entail group-level structure: The case for geographically explicit analysis [invited commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, 37-38. doi:10.1017/S0140525X15000217

Pennycook, G. & Ross, R. M. (2016). Commentary: Cognitive reflection vs. calculation in decision making. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(9). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00009

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

Ross, R. M., McKay, R., Coltheart, M., & Langdon, R. (2015). Jumping to conclusions about the beads task? A meta-analysis of delusional ideation and data-gathering. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 41(5), 1183-1191. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu187

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), 20123065. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.3065

Ross, R. M., McNair, N. A., Fairhall, S. L., Clapp, W. C., Hamm, J. P., Teyler, T. J., & Kirk, I. J. (2008). Induction of orientation-specific LTP-like changes in human visual evoked potentials by rapid sensory stimulation. Brain Research Bulletin, 76(1-2), 97-101. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.01.021

Gray, R. D., Greenhill, S. J., & Ross, R. M. (2007). The pleasures and perils of Darwinizing culture (using phylogenies). Biological Theory, 2(4), 360-375. doi:10.1162/biot.2007.2.4.360

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