Witch: a tag that shapes social networks

Witchcraft beliefs are and have been widespread in human societies, but what impact do they have on social interactions and what cultural evolutionary function might they serve? Field experiments and network data show that the witchcraft label ‘Zhu’ influences labour-sharing and reproductive choices in a large network of southwest Chinese villages. Zhu is not an indicator of prosociality, but may function to spite or damage rivals [1]. 1. Mace, R., Thomas, M.G., Wu, J., He, Q., Ji, T. & Tao, Yi. Nat. Hum. Behav. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0271-6 (2018)