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.




anthrolab field sites


death anxiety religious belief
religion anthropology and cognitive science
Mind and religion psychological and cognitive foundations of religiosity
Ritual and memory toward a comparative anthropology of religion
the debated mind evolutionary psychology versus ethnography


Featured Articles

Dying for the group: Towards a general theory of extreme self-sacrifice
Harvey Whitehouse (2018)
Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Is it good to cooperate? Testing the theory of morality-as-cooperation in 60 societies
Oliver S. Curry, Daniel A. Mullins, and Whitehouse Harvey (2017)
Current Anthropology
The evolution of extreme cooperation via shared dysphoric experiences
Harvey Whitehouse, Jonathan Jong, Michael Buhrmester, et al. (2017)
Nature: Scientific Reports
Rituals Improve Children's Ability to Delay Gratification
Veronika Rybanska, Ryan McKay, Jonathan Jong and Harvey Whitehouse (2017)
Child Development 
Explaining Lifelong Loyalty: The Role of Identity Fusion and Self-Shaping Group Events.
Newson Martha, Michael D. Buhrmester, and Harvey Whitehouse (2016)
Brothers in Arms: Libyan Revolutionaries Bond Like Family
Harvey Whitehouse, Brian McQuinn, Michael Buhrmester, and William B. Swann (2014)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The Ties that Bind Us: Ritual, fusion, and identification.
Harvey Whitehouse and Jonathan A. Lanman (2014)
Current Anthropology
Religion and Morality. Psychological Bulletin.
Ryan McKay and Harvey Whitehouse (2014)
Advance online publication