Publication details

A cultural evolution model for the transmission of intergroup religious violence



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The pervasive problem of religiously fueled intergroup violence can be tackled from the perspective of cultural evolution by studying how various psychological biases facilitate the transmission of violent behavior. I propose that the combination of the credibility enhancing displays bias with the prestige bias can lay ground for the transmission of violent behavior toward out-groups during an intergroup conflict, especially when framed with religious narratives and symbols. My poster will present an ongoing experimental research on modelling intergroup violence and religion’s influence on involved learning biases and group dynamics: (1) preliminary experimental results assessing the trustworthiness of a violent in-group member through self-reports, and (2) behavioral experimental designs utilizing economic games and eye-tracking methodologies. Understanding and explaining these mechanisms and group dynamics on a proximate level can help prevent more effectively the devastating outbreaks of “eye-for-an-eye” violence which tend to “stick around”, especially if framed in religious rhetoric.
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