In March 2015, Dimitris Xygalatas, a cognitive anthropologist specialising in research on extreme rituals, visited the lab. Dr. Xygalatas provided an engaging talk about his field and experimental research on extreme rituals. His talk covered a diverse range of evidence, ranging from field research conducted with extreme Hindu piercing rituals in Mauritius to laboratory studies that involve killing artificial lemmings. The array of methods covered was impressive and led to a lively discussion with lab members in the Q&A section.

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However, Dr. Xygalatas visit was primarily to assist with the piloting of a new experimental methodology designed in collaboration with members of our lab and visiting Oxford research student, Chris Kavanagh. The new experiment is designed to examine individual and group response to threat and involves the use of sociometric badge technology. ‘Sociometers’ are a newly developed technology from engineers at MIT Media Lab and enable various aspects of social interactions to be recorded in unprecedented fine-grained detail, but they have yet to be applied widely in social science research.


Following Dr. Xygalatas visit, the pilot badge study was completed successfully, with data collected from over 130 participants. This was only the first step however, as the study was planned as a cross-cultural research effort and is presently being replicated in seven different countries, including Brazil, Mauritius and Singapore. We are looking forward to seeing the final results next year and are glad to have collaborated with Dr. Xygalatas on such an ambitious, international research effort.


March 25th, 2019

Asuka Murata has achieved an Associate Professor position at Sakushin Gakuin University

Our post-doc, Asuka Murata, Ph.D. has achieved an Associate Professor position at the Faculty of Human and Cultural Sciences, Sakushin […]

March 13th, 2019

Masaki Yuki has joined the Executive Committee of the International Society for Self & Identity

Masaki Yuki has joined the Executive Committee of the International Society for Self & Identity. The term will be until […]

February 20th, 2019

Junko Yamada has got a job at the Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University

Our post-doc Junko Yamada, Ph.D. has got a Researcher position at the Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University, starting from April […]

October 1st, 2018

Ms. Wen-Qiao Li has joined the lab!

Ms. Wen-Qiao Li, a new MEXT research student who completed her master’s degree at Sun Yat-sen University has joined our […]

July 1st, 2018

New special website for the relational mobility project has been launched.

We have launched our new special website for the relational mobility project. The content is RICH: Scales in multiple languages, data sharing, […]

June 29th, 2018

New paper on 39-country comparison of relational mobility published in PNAS journal

Our large-scale 39-country study that tested and explored the ecological antecedents and psychological consequences of relational mobility, along with validation […]

June 1st, 2018

Lauren Howard (College of William and Mary) is staying with us!

Ms. Lauren Howard, a master’s student at the College of William and Mary is staying with us from June 1 […]

March 10th, 2018

Dr. Christina Sagioglou is staying with us

Dr. Christina Sagioglou, a post-doctoral researcher at Institut für Psychologie, Universität Innsbruck, is staying in our lab from March to […]

December 3rd, 2017

New paper on relational mobility and passion in romantic relationships accepted publication in Evolutionary Psychology journal

Our new paper on relational mobility and passion in romantic relationships (lead author: Junko Yamada) has been accepted publication in […]

July 25th, 2017

Masaki Yuki has become a collaborator of Seshat project at University of Oxford

Masaki Yuki has become a Collaborator of the Seshat, a global history databank project, and of the Cultural Evolution Lab at […]