The very fact that ceremonial actions are not intelligible in practical terms means that we can endow them with many possible functions and meanings. Furthermore, if we don’t know very much about what others are thinking, we tend to believe that what is personally meaningful about the experience of joining in is shared by everyone else. This is the ‘false consensus bias’, well-documented in social psychology.
These two facts together explain why painful or frightening (in the jargon, ‘dysphoric’) rituals — such as traumatic initiations and hazing practices — lead to bonding. Whatever each performer thinks or feels about the experience, they all assume that the other participants feel the same as themHarvey Whitehouse [aeon]
Leio quase todos os artigos desta revista (aeon), o que é raro; tem boas discussões nos comentários, o que ainda é mais raro; quase nunca concordo com nada, o que é frequente.