Ritual increases children's preferences for in-group members

by Nicole Jee Wen

Institution: University of Texas – Austin
Year: 2015
Keywords: Social cognition; Imitation; Coalitional psychology; Ritual; Social group dynamics
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2135448
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/32412


This study examined the impact of ritual on children's in-group affiliation (N = 71, 4-11-year-old children). A novel social group paradigm was used in an afterschool program setting to test the influence of a ritual versus a control task on three key outcomes – affiliation with in-group members, expectations for inclusion by in-group members, and selective group fusion with in-group members. Results from converging measures support the hypothesis that the experience of participating in a ritual increases in-group preference to a greater degree than group activity alone. The results provide insight into the early-developing preference for in-group members and are consistent with the proposal that rituals facilitate in-group cohesion. Advisors/Committee Members: Legare, Cristine H. (advisor), Markman, Art B (committee member).