extraordinary rituals


Extraordinary Rituals
A look at the world's most spectacular and extreme rituals.  CSSC Director Harvey Whitehouse acted as a consultant for this series.
If you are a member of a UK Higher Education Institution, you can access the 3 programmes, via the Box of Broadcasts service:

Circle of Life
Great Gatherings
Changing World

August 17, 2018



quelling radicalization


Quelling radicalization through new understanding of ritual, fusion and identity
What drives people to take up arms for groups such as ISIS and how can this be prevented?
Ideaslab presentation at the world economic forum in partnership with the European research council.
January 18, 2017


why facts dont unify us


Why Facts Don't Unify Us
If facts don’t unify us, what does?
Betazone presentation at the World Economic Forum in partnership with Nature Publishing group.
January 17, 2017


what can the reaction


What can the reaction to the death of Cecil the lion tell us about human co-operation?
The Oxford Martin programme on natural governance is a new research initiative. Here, programme Directors Dominic Johnson, David Macdonald and Harvey Whitehouse look at what the reaction to Cecil's death can tell us about human co-operation.
June 2016


early civilization and belief


Early Civilization and Belief
Excerpt from episode 4 'Creation', The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.
April 24, 2016

religion past and present


Religion Past and Present (part of a panel at the Integrative Science Symposium)
International Convention of Psychological Science, Effectenbeurszaal, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
March 13, 2015

new atheism ritual and identity fusion


New Atheism, Ritual, and Identity Fusion: A Walk in the Park With Harvey Whitehouse
Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, And Culture, University Of British Columbia.
August 20, 2013


Professor Harvey Whitehouse: 'What Motivates Extremism?'
Interview, Cumberland Lodge 
November 8, 2017

Rites From the Start
Interview with Thea Cunningham (Begins at 14:03), Nature Podcast
January 24, 2013

Religion, Cohesion and Hostility
Science and Religious Conflict Conference, James Martin 21st Century School, Oxford
May 17, 2010

God on My Mind: Evolution
Radio Interview with Matthew Taylor, BBC Radio 4
March 24, 2010
Social bonding key cause of football violence
EurekAlert! Science News
June 22, 2018

Are Suicide Bombings Really Driven by Ideology?
May 24, 2018

When Does Making the Ultimate Sacrifice Make Sense?
Psychology Today
April 22, 2018

Human Sacrifice Was the Key to Social Evolution, New Study Says
OUTER Places
February 28, 2018

Did Human Sacrifice Help People Form Complex Societies
The Atlantic
February 27, 2018

Dying for the group: what motivates the ultimate sacrifice?
University of Oxford
March 5, 2018

USP Emalus Campus collaborates with Oxford University
The Daily Post (Vanuatu)
September 30, 2017

How understanding football violence could help the fight against terrorism
International Business Times
September 29, 2017

Football hooligans behave like Terrorists
The Sun
September 26, 2017

Researchers test what lies behind the extreme self-sacrifice of fighters
University of Oxford
March 16, 2017

Why fans of perennially-poor football teams share traits with suicide bombers: Band of brothers' mentality can drive extreme behaviour
Mail Online
March 14, 2017

People are intensely loyal to groups which abuse newcomers. Why? 
January 16, 2017

The database that is rewriting history to predict the future
New Scientist
October 12, 2016

Acts of kindness make us feel (slightly) better
The Times
October 5, 2016

Being kind to others does make you 'slightly happier'
University of Oxford
October 5, 2016

Downs as well as the ups of a football club's fortunes build fans' loyalty
University of Oxford
August 19, 2016

Psychologists work out why we stay loyal to our football club even in defeat
North-West Evening Mail
August 18, 2016

Why we can't help supporting the losing teams: Football fans' loyalty is made STRONGER by defeats
Mail Online
August 18, 2016

Football defeat inspires fans' loyalty just as much as victory, psychologists find
The Telegraph
August 18, 2016

Renowned 'Cliodynamics' Scholars Speak at ADAPT Centre Workshop
ADAPT Centre
May 2016

What Motivates Extreme Self-Sacrifice?
Pacific Standard
March 21, 2016

'Shared bad memories' bind fighters and terrorists to their groups
University of Oxford
December 24, 2015

Research in Conversation: Being Human
University of Oxford
April 2015

Researchers Quantify Bonds Formed by Combatants in Libya Conflict
Toronto Star
November 24, 2014

Libyan Bands of Brothers Show How Deeply Humans Bond in Adversity
The Conversation
November 12, 2014

In the face of Adversity and War, Bonds among Soldiers are as Strong as Kinship
ZME Science
November 12, 2014

To Understand Religion, Think Football
September 4, 2014

Rituale (PDF)
January 2014

Why Your Lucky Underwear and Pre-Game Routine Might Actually Work
May 14, 2013

Behaviour: Scientists' rituals are ripe for investigation
Nature 494, 314
February 21, 2013

Social Evolution: The Ritual Animal
January 23, 2013

Human Rites
December 12, 2012

Human cycles: History as science
August 2012

The Good God Guide
The Economist
April 20, 2011

Der Sinn von Ritualen: Beispiel Religion (PDF)
Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Spezial 1

The Secret That Makes Religion (PDF)
New Scientist
December 26, 2009 & January 2, 2010

Explaining Religion: What's Love Got to Do With It?
Faith & Reason, USA Today
April 20, 2009

What Does That Stick in the Mud Mean?
Steven Waldman’s Blog, Beliefnet
April 18, 2009

Religion – What Is It Good For?
The Globe and Mail
November 22, 2008

The Great Divide
Times Higher Education
November 20, 2008

Frachtgut aus der Ahnenweltn (PDF)
Geo Kompakt No. 16
September 2008

Commentary: What Is This Thing Called Religion? ($)
New Scientist
April 5, 2008

Where Angels No Longer Fear to Tread
The Economist
March 19, 2008
Developing the Field Site Concept for the Study of Cultural Evolution: An Anthropologists View
Social Evolution Forum
October 19, 2016

The Role of Ritual in the Evolution of Social Complexity: Five Predictions and a Drum Roll
Social Evolution Forum
October 19, 2015

Three Wishes for the World
Social Evolution Forum
March 12, 2013

To Understand Present Day Cultures We Must Study the Past: a Commentary on David Sloan Wilson [with Michael E. Hochberg]
Social Evolution Forum
October 15, 2012

Intelligent Design Versus Random Mutation? (A comment on Steven Pinker) [with Ryan McKay]
Social Evolution Forum
June 22, 2012

Four Recipes for Religion
International Cognition and Culture Institute
January 25, 2010

Anthropology in Crisis - What, Still?
International Cognition and Culture Institute
June 7, 2009

Why Do We Sometimes De-Humanize Our Fellow Humans? Some Preliminary Reflections [with Justin Barrett]
International Cognition and Culture Institute
December 21, 2008
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