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IMC Researchers Published in Psychological Science

"Extreme Rituals Promote Prosociality" is the title of the article published in the August issue of Psychological Science. No less than five IMC researchers were involved in the study.

The August 2013 Issue of Psychological Science

Why do people engage in extreme rituals? What are their social benefits, if any? These questions lie at the core of the study carried out by the eight researchers credited in the Psychological Science article. Five of the co-authors are well known names to regular IMC observers: Dimitris Xygalatas, Panos Mitkidis, Joshua Skewes, Armin W. Geertz and IMC Director Andreas Roepstorff. The study, which was conducted in the ethnically and culturally diverse island of Mauritius, involved 86 males, 19 of whom were active participants in a so called "high-ordeal" religious ritual involving physical pain. The study found that not only actively practicing the ordeal, but even participating as an observer of this extreme ritual lead to enhanced social cohesion and cooperative behaviors.

The Psychological Science article has been widely cited in other scientific journals, such as Psychology Today since its publishing.

Link to the full article on Sage Journals