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Domain-general mechanisms: What they are, how they evolved, and how they interact with modular, domain-specific mechanisms to enable cohesive human groups

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2014

Kevin MacDonald*
Department of Psychology, California State University–Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840. kmacd@csulb.edu


Domain-general mechanisms are evolutionarily ancient, resulting from the evolution of affective cues signaling the attainment of evolutionary goals. Explicit processing is a particularly important set of domain-general mechanisms for constructing human groups – enabling ideologies specifying future goal states and rationalizing group aims, enabling knowledge of others' reputations essential to cooperation, understanding the rights and obligations of group membership, monitoring group members, and providing appropriate punishments to those who deviate from group aims.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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