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2013

First workshop in Experimental Anthropology in Mauritius

The first workshop in Experimental Anthropology was organised by MALEXA in Mauritius in August 2013, with the participation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Mauritius

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Why Would Performing an Extreme Religious Ritual Make People More Generous and Prosocial?

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Dimitris Xygalatas answers the question “Why Would Performing an Extreme Religious Ritual Make People More Generous and Prosocial?” for Science and Religion Today. Read the interview here

Extreme Rituals - Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas - CERC Interview Series

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Dimitris Xygalatas talks about his research in Mauritius for the CERC interview series. Watch the video here

Epiphenom on MALEXA research

A report on the study on Extreme Rituals and prosociality on the science blog Field of Science, written by Tomas Rees.
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Read the article here

Article on MALEXA research in PSYPOST

An article on MALEXA study recently reported in Psychological Science has been published in the science blog PSYPOST, written by Eric W. Dolan.
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Read the article here

MALEXA research published in Psychological Science

Extreme Rituals Promote Prosociality
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Abstract
Extreme rituals entail excessive costs without apparent benefits, which raises an evolutionary cost problem. It is argued that such intense rituals enhance social cohesion and promote cooperative behaviors. However, direct evidence for the relation between ritual intensity and prosociality is lacking. Using economic measures of generosity and contextually relevant indicators of group identity in a real-world setting, we evaluated pro-social effects from naturally occurring rituals that varied in severity.
Read the article here

Watch a talk on MALEXA research from the HESP Symposium on Cooperation

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Dimitris Xygalatas giving a talk entitled “Extreme rituals: Field experiments on prosociality”, presenting a recent field study conducted in Mauritius by MALEXA.
The talk was delivered at the HESP Symposium on Cooperation, Conflict and the Cultural Evolution of Religion, hosted by Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada on February 15-16, 2013, Sponsored by the Human Evolutionary Studies Program at SFU and the Cultural Evolution of Religion Research Consortium at the University of British Columbia.
Click on image to see the talk.


MALEXA project on social interaction receives funding

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MALEXA has received 86.000 Danish crowns in funding from the Interacting Minds Centre Seed Fund for an international project with the title Measuring Social Interaction. The project will be conducted by researchers at the universities of Aarhus (Denmark), Masaryk (Czech Republic), Victoria (New Zealand), and Queen’s University Belfast (UK). It will combine long-term participant-observation with precise physiological and behavioural measurements in order to shed light on some key aspects of social interaction by quantifying the effects of social events like public dancing or collective rituals, using cutting-edge equipment and methods in ways never before used in the field. The first part of the project will focus on traditional sega dancing and its effects on social dynamics.

Field of Science on MALEXA publication

A report on the study on the effects of religious settings on pro-sociality on the science blog Field of Science, written by Tomas Rees.
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Read the article here