What Cargo Cult Rituals Reveal About Human Nature

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Ceremonial cross of John Frum cargo cult, Tanna island, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), 1967. Photo: Tim Ross/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

  • The emergence of cargo cults also reveals something else: the universal human need for ritual.¬†Research shows that humans have intuitive expectations about ritual efficacy that operate unconsciously.¬†

Rituals play key roles across human societies, helping their members soothe their anxieties, connect, and maintain social order.Whether at a religious temple, a sports stadium, the coordinated, symbolic actions of the congregants, rather than their abstract beliefs, help them assuage their anxieties and find belonging.

Content retrieved from: https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/cargo-cults-human-nature-ritual/.

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