Principal Investigator: Harvey Whitehouse.
Rituals have shaped human societies for millennia, but the exact social consequences of rituals are poorly understood. This project seeks to identify the fundamental components of rituals worldwide and chart their effects on patterns of group alignment and action. The project has three tightly linked objectives.
- Objective 1 explores the psychological mechanisms underlying rituals’ effects on group cohesion and behaviour in ten nations
- Objective 2 focuses on the ritual dynamics of special populations exposed to group-related violence (e.g., war veterans, ex-convicts, war-torn communities)
- Objective 3 examines the functions of ritual and cohesion in cultural group selection
This is a five-year project involving collaborations with anthropologists, psychologists, historians, archaeologists, and evolutionary biologists from around the world with data collection in Brazil, Japan, USA, Israel, Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand, and Libya.