Excitation transfer and religious rituals : influencing other people’s attitudes by using behavioral means

Investor logo


Year of publication 2012
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Arousal can be used to alter (mainly amplify) various things. It has been shown on individual level that arousal produces residual excitement that servers to intensify later emotional states like aggression (Zillman, 1971), sexual attraction (Dutton & Aron, 1974) or sense of humour (Cantor et al, 1974). My interest is if I can use physiological arousal to amplify even more complex things and on a group level. For example pro-social behaviour or anti-social behaviour. In this paper I outline the background of my research. Among the assumptions determining possible results are: favoring explanatory theories, favoring multidisciplinary approach, favoring evolutionary perspective, favoring naturalistic frameworks of the study of religion in general and favoring experimental paradigm. I argue that it is possible and useful to use quantification even in the study of cultural phenomena such as religious ritualized collective action. To illustrate the argument, I will use as an example my own laboratory research on the influence of autonomic arousal on pro-social behavior which main hypothesis might be phrased as follows. Increase in physiological arousal (given the right conditions for excitation transfer to occur) will result in either increase or decrease of prosocial behavior (given the right prime).
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.