Examining Special Patient Rituals in a Chinese Cultural Context: A Research Report

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
View More View Less
  • 1 Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 180 N. Oakland, Pasadena, ca 91101, USA
  • 2 Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 180 N. Oakland, Pasadena, ca 91101, USA
  • 3 Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 180 N. Oakland, Pasadena, ca 91101, USA
  • 4 * Corresponding author, e-mail: ryanhornbeck@fuller.edu

Login via Institution

Is reasoning about religious ritual tethered to ordinary, nonreligious human reasoning about actions? E. Thomas Lawson and Robert N. McCauley’s ritual form hypothesis (rfh) constitutes a cognitive approach to religious ritual – an explanatory theory that suggests people use ordinary human cognition to make specific predictions about ritual properties, relatively independent of cultural or religious particulars. Few studies assess the credibility of rfh and further evidence is needed to generalize its predictions across cultures. Towards this end, we assessed culturally Chinese “special patient” rituals in Singapore. Our findings strongly support rfh predictions for special patient ritual repeatability, reversibility, sensory pageantry and emotionality.

  • Ames R. Kasulis T., Ames R. & Dissanayake W. On body as ritual practice Self as body in Asian theory and practice 1993 Albany, NY State University of New York Press 149 156

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barrett J.L. Light T. & Wilson B.C. Bringing data to mind: Empirical claims of Lawson and McCaulaey’s theory of religious ritual Religion as a Human Capacity: A Festschrift in Honor of E. Thomas Lawson 2004 Leiden Brill 265 288

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barrett J.L. & Lawson E.T. Ritual intuitions: cognitive contributions to judgments of ritual efficacy Journal of Cognition and Culture 2001 1 183 201

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Henrich J., Heine S. J. & Norenzayan A. The Weirdest People in the World? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2010 Vol. 33 2–3 61 135

  • Jullien F. Goldhammer A. Vital Nourishment: Departing from Happiness 2007 New York, NY Zone Books

  • Lawson E.T. Religions of Africa: Traditions in Transformation 1984 New York, NY Harper Collins

  • Lawson E.T. & McCauley R.N. Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture 1990 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

  • Malley B. & Barrett J.L. “Does myth inform ritual? A test of the Lawson and McCauley hypotheses” Journal of Ritual Studies 2003 17 2 1 14

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCauley R.N. & Lawson E.T. Bringing Ritual to Mind 2001 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

  • Nisbett R.E., Kaiping P., Choi I. & Norenzayan A. Culture and systems of thought: Holistic versus analytic cognition Psychological Review 2001 108 291 310

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slingerland E. Body and mind in early China: an integrated humanities-science approach Journal of the American Academy of Religion 2013 81 1 50

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith P.B. Bond M.H. On the distinctiveness of Chinese psychology; or, are we all Chinese? The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology 2010 New York, NY Oxford University Press 699 710

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 96 43 1
Full Text Views 190 1 0
PDF Downloads 9 1 0