ESRC awards funding for interdisciplinary research on ritual
Posted: January 12, 2011
Cristine Legare, assistant professor of developmental psychology, and Harvey Whitehouse, professor of anthropology at Oxford University, have received funding from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of a $6 million Large Grant to examine the causes and consequences of ritual in human societies. In collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary team of leading psychologists, anthropologists, archeologists, and evolutionary scientists, this five-year program of research will include field studies and controlled cross-cultural experiments at approximately twelve field sites around the world. Psychological research on how children come to participate in the rituals of their society will inform investigations of how rituals influence behavior within and between social groups. The project will also build historical and archaeological databases to examine how changing ritual systems have impacted both cooperation and conflict over thousands of years.