The Coevolution of Parochial Altruism and War

  title={The Coevolution of Parochial Altruism and War},
  author={Jung-Kyoo Choi and Samuel Bowles},
  pages={636 - 640}
Altruism—benefiting fellow group members at a cost to oneself—and parochialism—hostility toward individuals not of one's own ethnic, racial, or other group—are common human behaviors. The intersection of the two—which we term “parochial altruism”—is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective because altruistic or parochial behavior reduces one's payoffs by comparison to what one would gain by eschewing these behaviors. But parochial altruism could have evolved if parochialism promoted intergroup… 
Evolution of parochial altruism by multilevel selection
Editorial: Parochial Altruism: Pitfalls and Prospects
Ten original studies included in this Research Topic investigate selected assumptions and predictions of parochial altruism theory in detail and find that human decision making in intergroup contexts is more complex than suggested by current theory.
Parochial Altruists or Ideologues? An Agent Based Model of Commitment to Self Sacrifice
What motivates suicide attackers remains an open question. From an evolutionary perspective, commitment to suicide missions is puzzling since such behavior is fitness reducing. We model suicide
“Brothers” in Arms: Does Metaphorizing Kinship Increase Approval of Parochial Altruism?
Parochial altruism is manifested in the most violent of conflicts. Although it makes evolutionary sense for kin, many non-kin groups also behave parochially altruistically in response to threat from
Why is parochialism prevalent?: an evolutionary approach
Parochialism occurs when an individual mentally codes the population into in-group and out-group members and cooperates only with in-group members. Conditional cooperation of this kind is distinct
Intuitive Participation in Aggressive Intergroup Conflict: Evidence of Weak Versus Strong Parochial Altruism
Research on so-called parochial altruism, i.e., the motivation to benefit in-group members at personal cost, while not benefitting or even harming out-groupMembers, recently received much attention in psychology and beyond.
The evolutionary interplay of intergroup conflict and altruism in humans: a review of parochial altruism theory and prospects for its extension
  • Hannes Rusch
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2014
This review assesses the explanatory power of current theories of ‘parochial altruism’ and identifies two pitfalls in the interpretation of the most widely used models: potential direct benefits and high relatedness between group members implicitly induced by assumptions about conflict structure and frequency.


Parochial altruism in humans
Punishment experiments, which allow ‘impartial’ observers to punish norm violators, with indigenous groups in Papua New Guinea, show that these experiments confirm the prediction of parochialism and indicate the need to explicitly examine the interactions between individuals stemming from different groups in evolutionary models.
Group Competition, Reproductive Leveling, and the Evolution of Human Altruism
Empirical estimates show that genetic differences between early human groups are likely to have been great enough so that lethal intergroup competition could account for the evolution of altruism.
The nature of human altruism
Current gene-based evolutionary theories cannot explain important patterns of human altruism, pointing towards the importance of both theories of cultural evolution as well as gene–culture co-evolution.
What is altruism?
  • K. Aoki
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1982
A haploid one-locus two-allele no mutation model is analyzed, where genetic differentiation of groups is generated in most part by random genetic drift and reduced partly by migration, and whether group selection can prevail over individual selection to bring about the evolution of an altruistic trait is addressed.
Intergroup Aggression in Chimpanzees and Humans [and Comments and Replies]
Examination of comparative data on nonhuman primates and crosscultural study of foraging societies suggests that attacks are lethal because where there is sufficient imbalance of power their cost is trivial, and that it is resources of reproductive interest to males that determine the causes of intergroup aggression.
Altruism in viscous populations — an inclusive fitness model
  • P. Taylor
  • Biology, Economics
    Evolutionary Ecology
  • 2005
It is shown that with an inclusive fitness model, that the same result holds in a patchstructured population, thus opposing the evolution of local altruistic behaviour.