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Shamanism and efficacious exceptionalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2018

Aaron D. Blackwell
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. benjamin_purzycki@eva.mpg.de
Benjamin Grant Purzycki
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. benjamin_purzycki@eva.mpg.de


Shamans can have efficacy at healing through botanical remedies and in observational and advisory functions through cognitive strengths, while shamanic acts of strangeness are likely honest signals of these qualities. Given this potential for shamanic practices to have true efficacy and the capacity for honest signaling, we expect efficacy will influence the spread, persistence, and loss of shamanic practices.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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