Department of Psychology pres.
Developmental Brown Bag: The Development of Ritual
Nicole J. Wen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan
Cultural conventions such as rituals are a psychologically understudied yet pervasive feature of human culture. Studying the emergence of rituals in childhood provides insight into the complex dynamics of social group cognition. This talk will examine how children identify and acquire ritual to affiliate with social groups, how evaluations of ritual performance may differ across cultures, and initial work uncovering the relationship between ritual and cooperation. The results provide insight into the early-developing preference for in-group members and are consistent with the proposal that rituals facilitate in-group cohesion. I propose humans are psychologically prepared to engage in ritual as a means of in-group affiliation and inclusion.
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