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The social science literature contains numerous examples of human tribalism and parochialism-the tendency to categorize individuals on the basis of their group membership, and treat ingroup members benevolently and outgroup members malevolently. We hypothesize that this tribal inclination is an adaptive response to the threat of coalitional aggression and(More)
Comparing food taboos across 78 cultures, this paper demonstrates that meat, though a prized food, is also the principal target of proscriptions. Reviewing existing explanations of taboos, we nd that both functionalist and symbolic approaches fail to account for meat's cross-cultural centrality and do not ree ect experience-near aspects of food taboos,(More)
Although a considerable body of research explores alterations in women's mating-relevant preferences across the menstrual cycle, investigators have yet to examine the potential for the menstrual cycle to influence intergroup attitudes. We examined the effects of changes in conception risk across the menstrual cycle on intergroup bias and found that(More)
Contemplation of death increases support of ingroup ideologies, a result explained by proponents of terror management theory (TMT) as an attempt to buffer existential anxiety. While TMT claims that only death-salient stimuli yield such effects, an evolutionary perspective suggests that increased intergroup bias may occur in response to a wide variety of(More)
Experimentally investigating the relationship between moral judgment and action is difficult when the action of interest entails harming others. We adopt a new approach to this problem by placing subjects in an immersive, virtual reality environment that simulates the classic "trolley problem." In this moral dilemma, the majority of research participants(More)
Adherence to ingroup ideology increases after exposure to death-related stimuli, a reaction that proponents of terror management theory (TMT) explain as a psychological defense against the uniquely human existential fear of death. We argue that existential concerns are not the relevant issue; rather, such concepts can be subsumed under a larger category of(More)
The terminal investment hypothesis (Williams [1966] Adaptation and Natural Selection; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press) holds that reproductive effort should increase over time in iteroparous species in which reproductive value declines with age. Attempts to model this hypothesis and test it in various species have produced mixed results.(More)
Conditioning studies on humans and other primates show that fear responses acquired toward danger-relevant stimuli, such as snakes, resist extinction, whereas responses toward danger-irrelevant stimuli, such as birds, are more readily extinguished. Similar evolved biases may extend to human groups, as recent research demonstrates that a conditioned fear(More)
What is the role of ecology in automatic cognitive processes and social behavior? Our motivated-preparation account posits that priming a social category readies the individual for adaptive behavioral responses to that category-responses that take into account the physical environment. We present the first evidence showing that the cognitive responses(More)
Adopting an evolutionary approach to the psychology of race bias, we posit that intergroup conflict perpetrated by male aggressors throughout human evolutionary history has shaped the psychology of modern forms of intergroup bias and that this psychology reflects the unique adaptive problems that differ between men and women in coping with male aggressors(More)