Does ritual behavior decrease anxiety?
More than a century ago, Bronislaw Malinowski claimed that ritual behavior decreases anxiety induced by the prospect of uncontrollable threats. Martin Lang and Jan Krátký (together with Dimitris Xygalatas) tested this notion experimentally in a Marathi community on Mauritius and recently published their results in a monothematic issue “Ritual renaissance: new insights into the most human of behaviours“ of the prestigious journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
Using a public speech paradigm, they found out that participants dealing with stress via habitual ritual performed in a local temple showed lower levels of perceived and physiological anxiety than participants that were relaxing in a non-religious location. Authors also discuss future directions that the evolutionary research on ritual could further develop.
You can find the article here: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2019.0431
Open post-doc position
We are looking for a new colleague to join our lab for two years as a post-doc researcher with a specialization in economic games and behavioral experiments.
A new research called “SACRIFICE” has been just launched
It will examine how participation in costly rituals affects the willingness to sacrifice one’s resources during inter-group conflict.
Our Ph.D. students received a grant from the Development Fund of Masaryk University
They will use the money to create a new and innovative course in which they will focus on the evolution of human cooperation and the role that religion played in this process.
Jan Horský won the second place in the student poster competition
Jan was awarded at the conference PTNCE 2019 held in Prague with a large LEVYNA presence.