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Using a detailed ethnographic dataset from rural India, Power finds that the outwardly religious engage in more prosocial acts, are perceived as more prosocial by others in their social network and leverage greater social support as a result.
Whether ritual behaviour reliably predicts cooperation is hotly debated. A study evaluating religion and social links among all adult residents of two South Indian villages finds that religious practice clearly predicts reciprocal cooperative ties. Rigorous quantitative field studies like this are a powerful way to resolve long-standing debates.