Evolutionary explanations of aggressive group displays

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  • Introduction
    • Evolutionary explanations of aggressive group display
        • Thus behave in an increasingly violent way
        • Blulock (1967) says that fear of political power in hands of the minority creates increased efforts by majority to remain dominant.
        • Power and resources integral for survival
        • Applied to race related lynch mobs in USA
          • Tolnay and Beck (1995)
            • Justifications for lynching 'trying to vote', 'demanding respect' and 'defending their community
            • CASE STUDY
            • Highly ecologically valid in US -n culture bias?
        • Ridley (1997)
          • Adds to validity by indicating that the group displays are more likely when group feels at risk
          • Adds to the P-T hypothesis as based on lynching which this research supports
        • Evaluation
          • Much of the research is RETROSPECTIVE
          • Content analysis technique unreliable
          • Research bias at work? Ignoring data that doesn't fit the hypothesis
          • Hogg and Vaughn (2008) group displays are a social not biological phenomenon- result of deidividuation
          • Miullen (1986)
            • 60 newspaper reports for a number of crowd and level of violence against humanity
            • Increase in mob, leads to breakdown in self regulation
            • Increase in violence, supports the social approach
        • Some group displays appear to contradict principles of natural selection
        • As costly to individuals involved
        • Irons (2003)
          • These group displays have 2 adaptive advantages
            • 1) engaging in painful rituals shows commitment to group
              • 2) costs act as a deterrant for 'free riders' i.e. getting rid of people who don;t help with survivial
        • Ruffle and Sosis (2005)
          • Studied Israeli kibulizim
            • found that there was a correlation between synagogue attendance and male cooperation with other attendees (male)
          • More conspicuous displays cause higher levels of cooperations
        • Sosis (2005)
          • 60 dispersed societies on costs of rituals and warfare.
          • Frequency of warfare and type of conflict is strongest predictors of society's male ritual displays
          • External conflict is related to more predominant displays e.g. scans - preventing abscondment
          • Internal conflict where groups form and then break up are temporary allegiance
            • Less costly than body painting and drugs
              • Correctional findings (cannot prove causal)
    • Aggression is usually described as being an act of deliberate violence and threatening behavior against another indvidual
    • The evolutionary approach: maintains that aggression is due to our ancestors having inbuilt mechanisms and behavior in order to survive
    • Examples of aggressive group display include lynching and religious rituals
    • Violent behavior in groups can be explained by this approach through various theories
  • IDA
    • Reductionist
    • Does not take free will into account
    • Deterministic


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