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1964), an evolutionary theory, explains social behaviors in terms of ultimate causes and is useful at predicting the overall patterns of these
behaviors (e.g., willingness to act altruistically increases as genetic relatedness increases). However, inclusive ﬁtness theory does not address the underlying psychological mechanisms that cause the overall
patterns of behavior to occur (Cunningham, Druen, & Barbee, 1997).
Social psychological theories, in contrast, focus on psychological
mechanisms, the proximate causes of behavior. Merging evolutionary
and social psychology enables simultaneous examination of ultimate
and proximate causes of social behaviors and enables a more complete
understanding of those behaviors.
The present study increases the understanding of altruistic behavior by providing evidence that elaborates the mechanism by which genetic relatedness (i.e., an ultimate cause) affects willingness to act
altruistically. In this study, we tested a simple model, one that included
only one mediator, emotional closeness (i.e., a proximate cause). The
results support our proposition that the evolved p...
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This document was uploaded on 11/18/2013.
- Fall '13