Concepts of gods, like any other concepts, are informed and constrained by cross-cultural regularities of the human mind-brain. Specifically, divine beings that are represented as intentional agents are subject to the cognitive intuitions that govern all intentional agents. These intuitions may include psychological and physical attributes not endorsed by a given theological tradition. Experimental evidence is presented supporting the presence of these cognitive constraints and a resulting divergence between stated theological beliefs and implicit concepts. Hindu residents of northern India completed questionnaires regarding attributes of Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu, or Krishna and also participated in a narrative comprehension task. Results revealed striking differences in how the gods were conceived in the two contexts.

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