- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Theoretical Foundations of Political Psychology
- Personality Approaches to Political Behavior
- Childhood and Adult Political Development
- Degrees of Rationality in Politics
- Behavioral Decision-Making
- Emotion and Political Psychology
- Toward an Evolutionarily Informed Political Psychology
- Genetic Foundations of Political Behavior
- Political Rhetoric
- Psychology and Foreign Policy Decision-Making
- Perceptions and Image Theory in International Relations
- Threat Perception in International Relations
- Crisis Management
- Personality Profiles of Political Elites
- Psychobiography: “the Child is Father of the man”
- Conflict Analysis and Resolution
- Political Information Processing
- Political Communication: Form and Consequence of the Information Environment
- Political Ideology
- Social Justice
- Networks, Interdependence, and Social Influence in Politics
- Political Deliberation
- From Group Identity to Political Cohesion and Commitment
- Social Movements and the Dynamics of Collective Action
- Prejudice and Politics
- Migration and Multiculturalism
- Discrimination Conditions, Consequences, and “Cures”
- The Psychology of Intractable Conflicts: Eruption, Escalation, and Peacemaking
Abstract and Keywords
The aim of this chapter is to discuss how one can use modern evolutionary thinking to increase our understanding of some of the deep-seated mechanisms contributing to the evolved nature of the human mind and, subsequently, human political behavior. The chapter starts by reviewing the basic principles of evolution by the processes of natural and sexual selection and the manner in which these principles help us better understand the nature of altruism and intragroup cooperation. It then gives four concrete examples of how evolutionary psychology can be applied to our understanding of political behavior. These examples concern the dynamics of ethnocentrism and intragroup cooperation, the political psychology of sex differences, the emergence and maintenance of group-based social hierarchy, and the gendered nature of group-based prejudice and aggression.
Jim Sidanius is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Stockholm, Sweden and has taught at several universities in the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, New York University, Princeton University, the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has authored some than 270 scientific papers. His primary research interests include the interface between political ideology and cognitive functioning, the political psychology of gender, institutional discrimination and the evolutionary psychology of intergroup conflict.
Robert Kurzban is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and currently occupies the Rasmuson Chair of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His research is primarily focuses on human social behavior from an evolutionary perspective. He serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, the flagship journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
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