New research on costly rituals among university fraternities

8 March 2018

Have you ever heard about or actually underwent initiation rituals that are obligatory for membership in a college fraternity or sorority? You may be interested in a new study featuring LEVYNA! Famous for their forced drinking, beating, tattooing or other forms of hazing, college initiation rituals are often directly inspired by costly religious rituals. However, do they also positively affect in-group cooperation? We compared decisions in an economic trust game between members of US fraternities and members of university social clubs and classrooms, observing that members of both fraternities and social clubs trusted more to each other compared to classrooms. The lack of difference between fraternities and clubs suggests that costly rituals we often observe in religious ceremonies accrue larger benefits because they also involve deep commitment to the supernatural.

 

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