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dc.contributor.advisorHalberstadt, Jamin
dc.contributor.authorMcCambridge, Laura Jayne Elizabeth
dc.date.available2015-12-02T19:58:40Z
dc.date.copyright2015
dc.identifier.citationMcCambridge, L. J. E. (2015). Social Effects of Causal Opacity and Pain in Rituals (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/6096en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/6096
dc.description.abstractRituals are known to bring groups of people together, but it is not clear what creates this bonding effect. Two prominent features of rituals are (1) they often involve pain or unpleasant experiences; and (2) they are often “causally opaque”; there is no shared understanding of the mechanism by which the ritualized behaviour exerts its effects. The current study represents the first experimental research examining how pain and causal opacity combine to produce group bonding. Participants engaged in a laboratory “ritual” that involved submersing their hands in cold (painful) water, or in tepid water. Causal opacity was manipulated independently, with half of the participants given an account of the functional reasons for performing the ritual, and half not. Afterwards, the group members’ physical proximity to each other was measured, as well as group fusion, identification, and co-operation. The latter measures were also completed one week later. Results revealed that group bonding depended on both causal opacity and pain. When the purpose of the task was transparent, participants sat closer together and were perceived to be more fused in the pain condition. When the purpose of the task was opaque, participants reported feeling more fused in the control condition than in the pain condition. These findings suggest that when they are in pain, people search for a reason why. This attribution becomes shared knowledge that contributes to group identity and fusion. This has implications for real world situations in which pain is used as social glue (e.g., initiation rituals), suggesting that if participants believe they are suffering pointlessly, they may not experience group bonding effects.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectSocial Effects
dc.subjectCausal Opacity
dc.subjectRitual
dc.subjectPain
dc.titleSocial Effects of Causal Opacity and Pain in Rituals
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2015-12-02T14:20:52Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychology
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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