AnthroLab brings the methodological tools of the psychological sciences to bear on questions about human culture and society: Why are human beings religious?Is there a universal morality? What are the causes of social cohesion? What motivates violent extremism?

Being a multidisciplinary team, our researchers conduct qualitative research, surveys and controlled experiments on these and other topics, both in the lab in in the field.






Featured Articles

Death Anxiety and Religious Belief
Jonathan Jong and Jamin Halberstadt
Bloomsbury Academic

Brothers in Arms: Libyan Revolutionaries Bond Like Family
Harvey Whitehouse, Brian McQuinn, Michael Buhrmester, and William B. Swann. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The ties that bind us: Ritual, fusion, and identification
Harvey Whitehouse and Jonathan A. Lanman. Current Anthropology


Synchrony and physiological arousal increase cohesion and cooperation in large naturalistic groups.

Joshua Conrad Jackson, Jonathan Jong, David Bilkey,  Harvey Whitehouse, Stefanie Zollmann, Craig McNaughton, and Jamin Halberstadt (In Press). Nature: Scientific Reports.

Quantitative Historical Analysis Uncovers a Single Dimension of Complexity that Structures Global Variation in Human Social Organization. 

Peter Turchin, Thomas E. Currie, Whitehouse, Harvey , Pieter François, et al (2017).  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Seshat: Global History Databank, Cultural Evolution Lab

The evolution of extreme cooperation via shared dysphoric experiences

Harvey Whitehouse, Jonathan Jong, Michael D. Buhrmester, Ángel Gómez, Brock Bastian, Christopher M. Kavanagh, Martha Newson, Miriam Matthews, Jonathan A. Lanman, Ryan McKay & Sergey Gavrilets (2017). Scientific Reports 7.

Sharing genes fosters identity fusion and altruism

Alexandra Vázquez, Ángel Gómez, Juan R. Ordoñana, William B. Swann & Harvey Whitehouse (2017). Self and Identity.

Rituals Improve Children's Ability to Delay Gratification

Veronika Rybanska, Ryan McKay, Jonathan Jong and Harvey Whitehouse (2017). Child Development.

Ritual and Social Evolution: Understanding social complexity through data

Harvey Whitehouse (2016). In B. Bozic et al (eds.), Computational History and Data-Driven Humanities (Springer International Publishing) pp.3-14. 

Paul Reddish, Eddie W. M. Tong, Jonathan Jong, Jonathan A. Lanman, and Harvey Whitehouse (2016). British Journal of Social Psychology.

Ryan McKay and Harvey Whitehouse (2016). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39

Martha Newson, Michael D. Buhrmester, and Harvey Whitehouse (2016). PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160427. 

Jamin Halberstadt, Joshua Conrad Jackson, David Bilkey, Jonathan Jong, Harvey Whitehouse, Craig McNaughton, and Stefanie Zollmann (2016). PLoS ONE.

Rachel E. Watson-Jones, Harvey Whitehouse, and Cristine H. Legare (2016). Psychological Science.

Shared Negative Experiences Lead to Identity Fusion via Personal Reflection

Jonathan Jong, Harvey Whitehouse, Christopher Kavanagh, and Justin Lane (2015). PLoS ONE 10(12): e0145611. 

Harvey Whitehouse (2015). K. Almqvist & A. Linklater (eds.) Religion: Perspectives from the Engelsberg seminar 2014. Stockholm: Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, 261-70.

Elena Gaviria, Carolina Ferreira, Mercedes Martínez, and Harvey Whitehouse (2015). Revista de Psicología Social / International Journal of Social Psychology, 30(3), 531-62.

Cristine H. Legare, Nicole J. Wen, Patricia A. Herrmann, and Harvey Whitehouse (2015). Cognition. Vol 142: pp. 351-361. 

Juan Jiménez, Ángel Gómez, Michael D. Buhrmester, Alexandra Vázquez, Harvey Whitehouse, William B. Swann, Jr. (2015). Social Science Computer Review.

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