Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

  title={Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War},
  author={James Liddle and Todd K. Shackelford and Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford},
  journal={Review of General Psychology},
  pages={24 - 36}
We review and discuss the evolutionary psychological literature on violence, homicide, and war in humans and nonhumans, and in doing so argue that an evolutionary perspective can substantially enhance our understanding of these behaviors. We provide a brief primer on evolutionary psychology, describing the basic tenets of the field. The theories of sexual selection and parental investment are explained and subsequently used to highlight the evolutionary logic underlying the use of violence by… Expand
A Moral Guide to Depravity: Religiously Motivated Violence and Sexual Selection
Relying on religion as the basis of one’s morality is problematic. Although religion can motivate positive behaviors and cooperation, it also motivates and exacerbates violence in particularExpand
Adaptation and Coherence: Evolutionary and Dynamical Perspectives on Human Violence
The potential for violence is ubiquitous in human affairs, but the diversity of violence is difficult to understand in terms of an integrated theoretical framework. Evolutionary psychology providesExpand
War and Aggression
War and aggression are defining features of international relations, whether they are the numerous terrorist attacks worldwide, the high number of ethnic conflicts, or the resurgence of violentExpand
The evolution of war: theory and controversy
The use of evolutionary theory for explaining human warfare is an expanding area of inquiry, but it remains obstructed by two important hurdles. One is that there is ambiguity about how to build anExpand
The Implicit Rules of Combat
These are the first studies to implicate specialized mechanisms for aggression that use contextual cues of violence to guide expectations and behavior and suggest the existence of implicit rules governing the contexts of combat. Expand
Eastwood's Brawn and Einstein's Brain: An Evolutionary Account of Dominance, Prestige, and Precarious Manhood
Researchers have theorized that manhood is a precarious social status that requires effort to achieve. Because of this, men whose manhood is threatened react with a variety of compensatory behaviorsExpand
Virtuous Violence: Hurting and Killing to Create, Sustain, End, and Honor Social Relationships
The point 1. Why are people violent? 2. Violence is morally motivated to regulate social relationships 3. Defense, punishment, and vengeance 4. The right and obligation of parents, police, kings, andExpand
Integrating Evolutionary Psychology and Social Psychology: Reflections and Future Directions
Human social psychology was shaped over a long ancestral past and should not be considered with a view to modern circumstances alone. However, social psychology and evolutionary psychology haveExpand
When Violence Pays: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aggressive Behavior in Animals and Humans
Humans are a highly aggressive species in comparison to other animals, probably as a result of an unusually high benefit-to-cost ratio for intra-specific aggression. Expand
The evolutionary interplay of intergroup conflict and altruism in humans: a review of parochial altruism theory and prospects for its extension
  • Hannes Rusch
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • 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. Expand


Collective violence: An evolutionary perspective
The seeming ubiquity of war, genocide, and other forms of group conflict in human history has led many scholars to conclude that our capacity for collective violence is firmly rooted in theExpand
Evolutionary Psychology is Not Evil! (… and Here’s Why …)
Evolutionary psychology has faced ‘implacable hostility’ (Dawkins, 2005) from a number of intellectual fronts. Critics of evolutionary psychology have tried to paint this perspective variously asExpand
Human aggression in evolutionary psychological perspective.
An evolutionary psychological account of human aggression is proposed and several of the contexts in which humans confront these adaptive problems are outlined and the evolutionary logic of why men are cross-culturally more violently aggressive than women in particular contexts is outlined. Expand
Punishment, proprietariness, and paternity : Men's violence against women from an evolutionary perspective
In this article, we use an evolutionary perspective to examine intimate partner violence, focusing on men's violence against women. Previous examinations of intimate partner violence have typicallyExpand
The causes of rape: Understanding individual differences in the male propensity for sexual aggression
The Causes of Rape: Understanding Individual Differences in Male Propensity for Sexual Aggression examines why some men seem prone to rape, offers probable causes for this inclination, and provides aExpand
The dark side of man : tracing the origins of male violence
In The Dark Side of Man, Michael Ghiglieri, a biologist and protege of Jane Goodall, takes on one of the most highly charged debates in modern science: the biological roots of bad behavior. BeginningExpand
Self-Protection and the Culture of Honor: Explaining Southern Violence
The southern United States has long been known to be more violent than the northern United States. The authors argue that this may be due in part to an ideology justifying violence forExpand
The evolution of intimate partner violence
An evolutionary perspective anticipates predictable forms of sexual conflict in human mating relationships. Humans have evolved a psychology of tactical deployment designed to influence a partner'sExpand
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
An introduction to evolutionary psychology and its application to suicide terrorism
This article introduces evolutionary psychology to a general readership, with the purpose of applying evolutionary psychology to suicide terrorism. Some of the key concepts related to evolutionaryExpand