Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychol Sci. 2010 Nov;21(11):1623-8. doi: 10.1177/0956797610387439. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Genetic evidence for multiple biological mechanisms underlying in-group favoritism.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, 7 George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, United Kingdom. glewis1@gmail.com

Abstract

In-group favoritism is ubiquitous and associated with intergroup conflict, yet is little understood from a biological perspective. A fundamental question regarding the structure of favoritism is whether it is inflexibly directed toward distinct, "essentialist" categories, such as ethnicity and race, or is deployed in a context-sensitive manner. In this article, we report the first study (to our knowledge) of the genetic and environmental structure of in-group favoritism in the religious, ethnic, and racial domains. We contrasted a model of favoritism based on a single domain-general central affiliation mechanism (CAM) with a model in which each domain was influenced by specific mechanisms. In a series of multivariate analyses, utilizing a large, representative sample of twins, models containing only the CAM or essentialist domains fit the data poorly. The best-fitting model revealed that a biological mechanism facilitates affiliation with arbitrary groups and exists alongside essentialist systems that evolved to process salient cues, such as shared beliefs and ancestry.

PMID:
20974715
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk