Parochial altruism: does it explain modern human group psychology?

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Abstract

Parochial altruism — the human inclination toward costly intra-group cooperation and inter-group aggression without expectations of future returns — requires group selection logic to explain its evolution. We examined experimental evidence for three implications of the group selection account: the unconditional nature of intra-group cooperation; the non-instrumental, non-retaliatory, and costly nature of inter-group aggression; and the positive relationship between intra-group cooperation and inter-group aggression. Laboratory experiments revealed no support for the unconditional nature of intra-group cooperation, mostly negative evidence for the non-instrumental, non-retaliatory, and costly nature of inter-group aggression, and mixed evidence for the positive relationship between intra-group cooperation and inter-group aggression. Caution against premature conclusions about the role of group selection in the evolution of parochial altruism is advised.

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Yamagishi, T., & Mifune, N. (2016, February 1). Parochial altruism: does it explain modern human group psychology? Current Opinion in Psychology. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.07.015

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