The Evolutionary Basis of Honor Cultures

  title={The Evolutionary Basis of Honor Cultures},
  author={Andrzej Nowak and Michele J. Gelfand and Wojciech Borkowski and Dov Cohen and Ivan Hernandez},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={12 - 24}
Around the globe, people fight for their honor, even if it means sacrificing their lives. This is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective, and little is known about the conditions under which honor cultures evolve. We implemented an agent-based model of honor, and our simulations showed that the reliability of institutions and toughness of the environment are crucial conditions for the evolution of honor cultures. Honor cultures survive when the effectiveness of the authorities is low, even… Expand

Figures and Topics from this paper

Two of a kind: Are norms of honor a species of morality?
Should the norms of honor cultures be classified as a variety of morality? In this paper, we address this question by considering various empirical bases on which norms can be taxonomicallyExpand
Aggression among men: An integrated evolutionary explanation
Abstract This paper develops an integrated theoretical explanation of aggression among men, showing that much of that aggression is anchored in naturally-selected psychological adaptations—and, inExpand
Two of a Kind: Are Norms of Honour a Species of Morality?
Should the norms of honor cultures be classified as a variety of morality? In this paper, we address this question by considering various empirical bases on which norms can be taxonomicallyExpand
The Logic of Climate and Culture: Evolutionary and Psychological Aspects of CLASH
The logic and assumptions of CLASH are clarified and its extensions and boundary conditions are discussed and it is hoped this work will stimulate future research on the link between climate and human behavior. Expand
Social rewards: the basis for collaboration in honor cultures
Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to define social rewards, as acts and expressions which specifically signal respect, courtesy and benevolence to the other party, basedExpand
Socio-ecological roots of cultures of honor.
This review of social psychological research on honor finds inspiring examples that can be adopted to examine socio-ecological roots of other cultural dimensions commonly used to explain cultural differences in psychological processes. Expand
“Badge of Honor”: Honor Ideology, Police Legitimacy, and Perceptions of Police Violence
Research indicates that police legitimacy is a function of how well police officers subscribe to community values, norms, and beliefs. Because such perceptions are likely to be culturally derived,Expand
Honor killing as a dark side of modernity: Prevalence, common discourses, and a critical view
Honor killing is a serious social problem in some countries that is yet to be adequately explained and addressed. We start with an overview of the conceptualization of this phenomenon and review itsExpand
The Making of Violent Extremists
The authors outline a psychological model of extremism and analyze violent extremism as a special case of it. Their significance quest theory identifies 3 general drivers of violent extremism: need,Expand
Institutional inversion and the connection between collective attitudes and behavior.
The paradox-of-debt: Protestant cultures have traditionally been relatively less sympathetic to debtors than Catholic cultures have been, and Protestant cultures set up more pro-creditor institutions, which invert the usual attitude-behavior relationship. Expand


An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective on Cultures of Honor
A key element of cultures of honor is that men in these cultures are prepared to protect with violence the reputation for strength and toughness. Such cultures are likely to develop where (1) a man'sExpand
Within- and between-culture variation: individual differences and the cultural logics of honor, face, and dignity cultures.
  • A. Leung, D. Cohen
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2011
The CuPS approach attempts to jointly consider culture and individual differences, without treating either as noise and without reducing one to the other, to provide a rudimentary but integrated approach to understanding both within- and between-culture variation. Expand
Field Experiments Examining the Culture of Honor: The Role of Institutions in Perpetuating Norms about Violence
Two field experiments illustrate how institutions of the U.S. South and West can help perpetuate violence related to a culture of honor. In Study 1, employers across the United States were sentExpand
Societal threat and cultural variation in the strength of social norms: An evolutionary basis
The strengths of social norms vary considerably across cultures, yet little research has shown whether such differences have an evolutionary basis. Integrating research in cross-cultural psychologyExpand
Insult, aggression, and the southern culture of honor: an "experimental ethnography".
Findings highlight the insult-aggression cycle in cultures of honor, in which insults diminish a man's reputation and he tries to restore his status by aggressive or violent behavior. Expand
Confrontation versus withdrawal: Cultural differences in responses to threats to honor
This study compares evaluations by members of an honor culture (Turkey) and a dignity culture (northern USA) of honor threat scenarios, in which a target was the victim of either a rude affront or aExpand
Culture of honor
“Jack, we have noticed a potentially harmful pattern in your life that may be detrimental to your future and that of Shiloh Place.” It was the first of November and time for my accountability lunchExpand
Cultural Prototypes and Dimensions of Honor
The tripartite nature of honor uncovered in these studies helps observers and researchers alike understand how diverse responses to situations can be attributed to honor. Expand
Male honor and female fidelity: implicit cultural scripts that perpetuate domestic violence.
Three general predictions were supported: (a) female infidelity damages a man's reputation, particularly in honor cultures; (b) this reputation can be partially restored through the use of violence; and (c) women in honor culture are expected to remain loyal in the face of jealousy-related violence. Expand
The Dissemination of Culture
Despite tendencies toward convergence, differences between individuals and groups continue to exist in beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. An agent-based adaptive model reveals the effects of aExpand