Lecture26-slides - Lecture 26: Human Conflict Pat Barclay...

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1 Lecture 26: Human Conflict Pat Barclay October 29 th , 2008 Disclaimer and Cautionary Note Evolutionary theory can help predict what will evolve and why it will evolve. It does not justify what evolves. If a behavior has some adaptive value (evolutionary function), it does NOT means that it’s therefore morally acceptable Naturalistic Fallacy: the tendency to confuse what “is” with what “ought” to be e.g. The function of violence and the function of virulence The naturalistic fallacy is especially tempting when discussing human behavior
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2 What is “conflict”? “Expression of manipulative and counter-manipulative strategies” Manipulative Strategy: one that advances one’s own genetic interests at the expense of others Aggression: potentially violent struggle for resources (e.g. food, mates, territory, status) Trickery/deception: getting another to willingly do what is in one’s own interest and not in theirs Why fight for status? • Establish pecking order now to reduce future confrontations • Increased access to resources • Especially: access to mates - via intrasexual competition - possibly via mate choice
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3 Ways to Acquire Resources Different ways of acquiring resources: Peacefully (non-violence): moderate payoff, low risk Aggression: bigger potential payoff, risk of death/injury/jail This is like the Hawk-Dove game from the Game Theory lectures: playing Hawk is risky, but it can invade a population of Doves Violence as a deterrent “Accidents don’t happen to those who take accidents as a personal insult.” When central authorities are lacking, a reputation for violence can deter potential exploiters We expect human psychology to be adapted to ancestral environments, where central authorities were lacking
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4 Sexual Selection and Reproductive Variance Recall that in many species (including humans), there is greater variance in male than female reproductive success In these species, males are more likely than females to fail to mate leads to from Murdock (1967) Ethnographic Atlas Most humans societies have
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Lecture26-slides - Lecture 26: Human Conflict Pat Barclay...

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