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date: 24 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article addresses the question of whether economic change fostered witchcraft accusations and prosecutions. It provides (i) a hypothesis regarding the neuropsychological origins of witchcraft cognition, accounting for its persistence over long periods of time; (ii) a theoretical framework concerning the appearance of an new ‘socio-economic grammar’ in the early modern period and its relevance to human behaviour; (iii) a study of local and regional variations in witchcraft prosecutions to determine the extent to which they may have been affected by geographic and ecological factors; and (iv) a reappraisal of witchcraft cognition in light of the nature through nurture dynamic.

Keywords: witchcraft prosecutions, economic change, witchcraft cognition

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