Send to

Choose Destination
Nervenarzt. 2013 Nov;84(11):1345-54, 1356-8. doi: 10.1007/s00115-013-3856-y.

[Collective violence: neurobiological, psychosocial and sociological condition].

[Article in German]

Author information

Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Nussbaumstr. 7, 80336, München, Deutschland,


Collective violence, despite its often disastrous consequences has widely been disregarded by psychiatry, as was the case for individual violence. Physical violence is not only an individual, mostly male phenomenon but manifests mainly as collective violence among men in multiple forms. Due to the plentitude of theories and findings on collective violence the present article is limited to a few relevant sociological and neurobiological aspects of collective violence as a group and intergroup phenomenon. A special focus is given to the association of the phylogenetic disposition to group violence and constructions of masculinity, to the potential relevance of mirror neurons for social contagion and to the influence of sociostructural factors for male adolescents joining violence-prone groups. In this context group dynamics such as in-group overevaluation and out-group devaluation are of central importance by stabilizing the male sense of self-worth and legitimizing, normalizing and internalizing violent behavior. Instead of mythologizing, biologizing or banalizing violence, transdisciplinary approaches are necessary to improve violence prevention on different ecological levels being obligated to a culture of nonviolent conflict management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center