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date: 18 February 2020

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.

Keywords: social exchange, status processes, identity processes, evolutionary reasoning, social networks

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