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Ritualized Behavior

Applied Animal Behavior Analysis

How to cite: Barata, R. (2024). Ritualized Behavior. Human-Animal Science.

Ritualized behaviors are evolved actions that serve specific communicative functions across species. They undergo ritualization to enhance signal transmission, drawing parallels to human rituals. Distinguished by simplifications, exaggerations, and formalizations, these behaviors often manifest in rhythmically repeated sequences. While exaggerations amplify energy, formalization standardizes movements. Some behaviors emphasize signals through rhythmic repetition, primarily auditory. Ritualization occurs phylogenetically, across evolutionary history, and ontogenetically, from youth to adulthood. Common precursors are intention movements and displacement activities, with some behaviors experiencing shifts in primary motivation during ritualization.

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Roberto Barata