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date: 22 October 2019

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.

Keywords: evolutionary psychology, ethnocentrism, intragroup cooperation, political psychology of gender differences, group-based hierarchy, social dominance

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