Group displays of aggression in humans

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  • Created by: chloe
  • Created on: 10-04-14 10:39



Group displays refer to the evolutionary explanation of how a group membership can cause displays of aggression

Examples include: warfare, sports events and religios rituals

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A01- Sports

Xenophobia- intense or irrational dislike of people in other countries, particularly strangers

A02- This is evolutionary as natural selection has favoured those genes, causing humans to be altruistic (completely selfless) towards members of their own group, yet intolerant towards outsides

Balestri et al. researched xenophobia in Italian football crowds. Findings: The crowds would often display anti-Semitic banners and used racist chants fro the purpose of strengthening their cultural identity.

A02- This implies that group displays, particular via sports crowds an xenophobia is an explanation of aggression.


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Marsh- an alternative explanation for aggressive displays in football crowds stems from the idea that what appears to be xenophobic behaviour is actually highly ordered and ritualised.

This allows men to have a sense of worth and identity amongst people of their own group

- As a result, this rejects the relationship between xenophobia and group aggression as instead, it shows how group aggression is more focused on career structure for working class males.

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Provides support for link between xenophobia and violent displays in Hugarian football crowds

Findings: The racist conduct of a core of extremist supported led to an increase of spectator's violence. These violent incidents based on racism and xenophobic attitudes were observed with gypsies, Jews and Russians (usual targets)


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War refers to group aggression on the same species which is evolutionary because it allows expansion of territory which helps to keep resources, as well as gaining a higher status and therefore gaining a mate. This means that there's a higher chance of carrying on ones genes

Lehmann and Feldman- proposed that the stronger, more aggressive men win wars and pass on their genes. As a result, this leads to a more aggressive species


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Pinker looked at 20,000 Muslim women who had been ***** in Bosnia. This suggests group aggression as being evolutionary as it concluded that the rapes had taken place in order to impregnate the woman and raise them as Serb


This implies that they are increasing their territory by impregnating the women and reproducing which are adaptive traits in humans, thus providing support for group displays as an evolutionary theory

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A03 Pinker study- The study used a large sample of participants which therefore shows that there is a good population validity, wherbey the results are easily generlisable to the wider population. However, the study possesses cultural and gender bias as the study was carried out specifically on Bosnian women, which if conducted in a Western culture, the result may have differed due to cultural practice etc.

IDA Gender biased to men- which does not explan the role of women. Woman have often played a very important role in wardare, for example, the Dahomey Amazons were an all-female army who conquered much of North-West Africa between 17th and 18th centuries. Limited understanding

Reductionism- ignores biological, social psychological explanations

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