- The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society
- About the Editor
- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Evolution, Biology, and Society
- Divergence and Possible Consilience Between Evolutionary Biology and Sociology
- Sociology’s Contentious Courtship with Biology: A Ballad
- Edward Westermarck: The First Sociobiologist
- Discovering Human Nature Through Cross-Species Analysis
- The Neurology of Religion: An Explanation from Evolutionary Sociology
- Reward Allowances and Contrast Effects in Social Evolution: A Challenge to Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Modernity
- Sex Differences in the Human Brain
- The Savanna Theory of Happiness
- How Evolutionary Psychology Can Contribute to Group Process Research
- The Genetics of Human Behavior: A Hopeless Opus?
- DNA Is Not Destiny
- On the Genetic and Genomic Basis of Aggression, Violence, and Antisocial Behavior
- Genetics and Politics: A Review for the Social Scientist
- Genes and Status Achievement
- Peer Networks, Psychobiology of Stress Response, and Adolescent Development
- Stress and Stress Hormones
- Social Epigenetics of Human Behavior
- Physiology of Face-to-Face Competition
- Evolutionary Behavioral Science: Core Principles, Common Misconceptions, and a Troubling Tendency
- Evolutionary Family Sociology
- Evolution and Human Reproduction
- Evolution, Societal Sexism, and Universal Average Sex Differences in Cognition and Behavior
- Evolutionary Theory and Criminology
- The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity
- Human Sociosexual Dominance Theory
- From Paganism to World Transcendence: Religious Attachment Theory and the Evolution of the World Religions
- The Evolutionary Approach to History: Sociocultural Phylogenetics
- Why Sociology Should Incorporate Biology
Abstract and Keywords
Conceptions of the human individual lie at the heart of all group process theories. Applying evolutionary reasoning—reasoning concerning what predispositions are likely to have evolved—to those conceptions can make the conceptions more accurate and thus improve theories based on them. This chapter discusses exchange processes, identity processes, and status processes. For exchange processes, evolutionary reasoning suggests numerous predispositions that would affect exchange, many to cope with the problem of cheating by others and ourselves. In fact, evolutionary reasoning suggests that concerns with our own identity may exist principally to improve our exchange outcomes. Concerning status processes, evolutionary reasoning suggests that awarding prestige must have evolved in the context of exchange, such that the person receiving prestige also incurs performance obligations. These points and others lead to several suggestions of areas for future research and specific predictions.
Joseph M. Whitmeyer is Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has published extensively on group process research, particularly on exchange and status processes. He has also co-written a book (with Saul Brenner) on the processes that occur in one empirically important small group, the US Supreme Court.
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