RITUAL

Body of ceremonies or rites used in a place of worship or fraternal organization. Actions and gestures performed in a specific manner or order. An automatic or compulsive pattern of behavior in response to a particular situation or stimulus. In Anthropology, may be classified as one of the following categories: magical rituals, which seek to manage natural forces using representative, usually simulated, behaviors (pouring water onto the earth to simulate rain); calendrical rituals, marking the passage of time and seasonal changes; liturgical rituals, revolving around the telling or reenactment of sacred stories; rites of passage; formal processes which emphasize the significance and dispassion or specific social behaviors, within a court of law or other enshrined institutions. Any mannerism or practice which is carried out with little to no conscious thought.

RITUAL: "They performed the ritual without really knowing what it meant."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "RITUAL," in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 28, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/ritual/ (accessed October 14, 2019).
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