Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-p2v8j Total loading time: 0.001 Render date: 2024-05-16T18:43:15.326Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Resolving the Difference between Evolutionary Antecedents of Political Attitudes and Sources of Human Variation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2014

Adam Lockyer
Affiliation:
Macquarie University
Peter K. Hatemi
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University

Abstract

Humans, despite the country they inhabit, the social structures they constitute, and the forms of governments they live under, universally possess political attitudes; that is, those attitudes towards sexual norms, out-groups, resource allocation, cooperation and fairness. It has been proposed that this near universal manifestation across societies remains ingrained in the psychological architecture of humans because of human evolution. However, there is enormous variation in political attitudes within and across populations, and this variation is not merely a function of social differences but derives, in part, through neurobiological differences within human populations. Thus, there is great confusion on the difference between what has evolved as universal, and what is due to individual variation. This confusion, results, in part on the lack of integration of the theoretical mechanisms that addresses how humans vary within evolutionarily adaptive universals. Here we seek to fill this lacuna by explicating how evolutionary biology and psychology account for the universal need for humans to have political attitudes while neurobiological differences account for variation within those evolved structures.

Résumé

Les êtres humains, quel que soit le pays dans lequel ils habitent, les structures sociales qu'ils constituent et les formes de gouvernements dans lesquelles ils évoluent, possèdent, de façon universelle, des attitudes politiques : il s'agit des attitudes à l'égard des normes sexuelles, des hors groupes, de l'allocation des ressources, de la coopération et de l'équité. Il a été suggéré que cette manifestation quasi universelle dans les sociétés reste ancrée dans l'architecture psychologique des êtres humains en raison de l'évolution humaine. Cependant, on constate d'énormes variations en termes d'attitudes politiques parmi et entre les populations, et cette variation n'est pas uniquement fonction des différences sociétales, mais provient, en partie, de différences neurobiologiques au sein des populations humaines. Ainsi, il existe une grande confusion entre ce qui a évolué de façon universelle et ce qui est dû à la variation individuelle. Cette confusion conduit, en partie, au manque d'intégration des mécanismes théoriques qui examinent la façon dont les êtres humains évoluent dans des univers qui s'adaptent de façon évolutionniste. Nous cherchons ici à combler cette lacune en expliquant comment la biologie de l'évolution et la psychologie expliquent le besoin universel des êtres humains d'avoir des attitudes politiques, tandis que les différences neurobiologiques expliquent les variations au sein de ces structures qui ont évolué.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Alesina, Alberto, Giuliano, Paola and Nunn, Nathan. 2013 (forthcoming). “On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Google Scholar
Alford, John R., Hatemi, Peter K., Hibbing, John R., Martin, Nicholas G. and Eaves, Lindon J.. 2011. “The Politics of Mate Choice.” Journal of Politics 73 (02): 362–79.Google Scholar
Alford, John R. and Hibbing, John R.. 2004. “The Origin of Politics: An Evolutionary Theory of Political Behavior.” Perspectives on Politics 2 (04): 707–23.Google Scholar
Barclay, Pat. 2004. “Trustworthiness and Competitive Altruism Can Also Solve the ‘Tragedy of the Commons.’Evolution and Human Behavior 25 (4): 209–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bullough, Vern L. 1976. Sexual Variance in Society and History. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Cosmides, L. 1989. “The Logic of Social Exchange: Has Natural Selection Shaped How Humans Reason? Studies with the Wason Selection Task.” Cognition 31 (3): 187276.Google Scholar
Cote, Owen R., Lynn-Jones, Sean M. and Miller, and Steven E.. 1997. Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Davie, Maurice R. 2003. The Evolution of War: A Study of Its Role in Early Societies. Mineola NY: Dover.Google Scholar
Durkheim, Émile. 1919. Les Règles De La Méthode Sociologique, 7th ed.. Bibliothèque de Philosophie Contemporaine. Paris: F. Alcan.Google Scholar
Eaves, L. J. and Hatemi, P. K.. 2008. “Transmission of Attitudes toward Abortion and Gay Rights: Effects of Genes, Social Learning and Mate Selection.” Behavior Genetics 38 (3): 247–56.Google Scholar
Eaves, L. J. and Hatemi, Peter K.. 2011. “Do We Choose Our Spouse Based on Our In-laws? Resolving the Effects of Family Background and Spousal Choice for Educational Attainment, Religious Practice, and Political Preference.” Social Science Quarterly 92 (5): 1253–78.Google Scholar
Eaves, L. J., Eysenck, H. J. and Martin, N. G.. 1989. Genes, Culture, and Personality: An Empirical Approach. London and San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Eaves, Lindon J., Hatemi, Peter K., Heath, Andrew C. and Martin, Nicholas G.. 2011. “Modeling Biological and Cultural Inheritance.” In Man Is by Nature a Political Animal: Evolution, Biology, and Politics, ed. Hatemi, Peter K. and McDermott, Rose. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Ember, Carol R., and Ember, Melvin. 1996. “Violence in the Ethnographic Record: Results of Cross-Cultural Research on War and Agression.” In Troubled Times: Violence and Warfare in the Past, ed. Martin, Debra L. and Frayer, David W.. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Publishers.Google Scholar
Fearon, James D., and Laitin, David D.. 2000. “Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity.” International Organization 54 (04): 845–77.Google Scholar
Ferguson, R.B. 2006. “Tribal, ‘Ethnic,’ and Global Wars.” In The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts: From War to Peace, ed. Fizduff, M. and Stout, C.E.. Westport CN: Praeger.Google Scholar
Fiske, Susan T. and Taylor, Shelley E.. 1991. Social Cognition. New York, NY. Mc Graw-Hill.Google Scholar
Fowler, J. H. and Schreiber, D.. 2008. “Biology, Politics, and the Emerging Science of Human Nature.” Science 322 (5903): 912–14.Google Scholar
Frank, Steven A. 1996. “Policing and Group Cohesion When Resources Vary.” Animal Behaviour 52 (6): 1163–69.Google Scholar
Fry, D. P. 2007. Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gat, Azar. 2006. War in Human Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hammond, Ross A. and Axelrod, Robert. 2006. “The Evolution of Ethnocentrism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 50 (6): 926–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hatemi, Peter K, Byrne, Enda, and McDermott, Rose. 2012a. “Introduction: What Is a ‘Gene’ and Why Does It Matter for Political Science?Journal of Theoretical Politics 24 (3): 305–27.Google Scholar
Hatemi, P. K., Gillespie, N. A., Eaves, L. J., Maher, B. S., Webb, B. T., Heath, A. C., Medland, S. E., Smyth, D. C., Beeby, H. N., Gordon, S. D., Montgomery, G. W., Zhu, G., Byrne, E. M. and Martin, N. G.. 2011. “A Genome-Wide Analysis of Liberal and Conservative Political Attitudes.” Journal of Politics 73 (1): 271–85.Google Scholar
Hatemi, P. K., Hibbing, J. R., Medland, S. E., Keller, M. C., Alford, J. R., Smith, K. B., Martin, N. G. and Eaves, L. J.. 2010. “Not by Twins Alone: Using the Extended Family Design to Investigate Genetic Influence on Political Beliefs.” American Journal of Politcal Science 54 (3): 798814.Google Scholar
Hatemi, Peter K., and McDermott, I. R.. 2011. “Evolution as a Theory for Political Behavior.” In Man Is by Nature and Nurture a Political Animal, ed. Hatemi, Peter K. and McDermott, I.R.: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Hatemi, Peter K. and McDermott, Rose. 2012. “The Genetics of Politics: Discovery, Challenges, and Progress.” Trends in Genetics 28 (10): 525–33.Google Scholar
Hibbing, John R. and Smith, Kevin B.. 2007. “The Biology of Political Behavior: An Introduction.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 614 (1): 614.Google Scholar
Hoffman, Elizabeth, McCabe, Kevin A. and Smith, Vernon L.. 1998. “Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology.” Economic Inquiry 36 (3): 335–52.Google Scholar
Horne, Christine. 2009. The Rewards of Punishment: A Relational Theory of Norm Enforcement. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Kaplan, J. T., Freedman, J. and Iacoboni, M.. 2007. “Us Versus Them: Political Attitudes and Party Affiliation Influence Neural Response to Faces of Presidential Candidates.” Neuropsychologia 45 (1): 5564.Google Scholar
Kelly, R.C. 2000. Warless Societies and the Origin of War. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press Google Scholar
Klofstad, C. A., McDermott, I. R. and Hatemi, P.K.. 2013. “The Dating Preferences of Liberals and Conservatives.” Political Behavior 35 (3): 519–38.Google Scholar
Klofstad, Casey A., McDermott, Rose and Hatemi, Peter K.. 2012. “Do Bedroom Eyes Wear Political Glasses? The Role of Politics in Human Mate Attraction.” Evolution and Human Behavior 33 (2): 100–08.Google Scholar
Kurzban, Robert and Leary, Mark R.. 2001. “Evolutionary Origins of Stigmatization: The Functions of Social Exclusion.” Psychological Bulletin 127 (2): 187208.Google Scholar
Lake, David A. and Rothchild, Donald. 1998. “Spreading Fear: The Genesis of Transnational Ethnic Conflict.” In The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict: Fear, Diffusion, and Escalation, ed. Lake, David A. and Rothchild, Donald. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press. 332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Blanc, S. A. 2003. Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage. New York, NY St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
Lodge, Milton and Taber, Charles S.. 2005. “The Automaticity of Affect for Political Leaders, Groups, and Issues: An Experimental Test of the Hot Cognition Hypothesis.” Political Psychology 26 (3): 455–82.Google Scholar
Madsen, Douglas. 1985. “A Biochemical Property Relating to Power Seeking in Humans.” The American Political Science Review 79 (2): 448–57.Google Scholar
Martin, N. G., Eaves, L. J., Heath, A. C., Jardine, R., Feingold, L. M. and Eysenck, H. J.. 1986. “Transmission of Social Attitudes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 83 (12): 4364–68.Google Scholar
McDermott, I.R. 2011. “Hormones and Politics.” In Man Is by Nature a Political Animal Evolution, Biology, and Politics, ed. Hatemi, Peter K. and McDermott, Rose. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 247–60.Google Scholar
McDermott, R., Tingley, D., Cowden, J., Frazzetto, G. and Johnson, D. D.. 2009. “Monoamine Oxidase a Gene (MAOA) Predicts Behavioral Aggression Following Provocation.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (7): 2118–23.Google Scholar
McManus, I. C. 1992. Psychology in Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Miller, Steven D. and Sears, David O.. 1986. “Stability and Change in Social Tolerance: A Test of the Persistence Hypothesis.” American Journal of Political Science 30 (1): 214–36.Google Scholar
Navarrete, Carlos David and Fessler, Daniel M. T.. 2006. “Disease Avoidance and Ethnocentrism: The Effects of Disease Vulnerability and Disgust Sensitivity on Intergroup Attitudes.” Evolution and Human Behavior 27 (4): 270–82.Google Scholar
Nowak, M. A., and Sigmund, K.. 1998. “Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring.” Nature 393 (6685): 573–77.Google Scholar
O'Connell, R.L. 1995. Ride of the Second Horseman: The Birth and Death of War. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Petersen, M. B. and Aaroe, L.. 2012. “Is the Political Animal Politically Ignorant? Applying Evolutionary Psychology to the Study of Political Attitudes.” Evolutionary Psychology 10 (5): 802–17.Google Scholar
Petersen, Michael Bang. 2012. “Social Welfare as Small-Scale Help: Evolutionary Psychology and the Deservingness Heuristic.” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1): 116.Google Scholar
Reicher, Stephen. 2004. “The Context of Social Identity: Domination, Resistance, and Change.” Political Psychology 25 (6): 921–45.Google Scholar
Schreiber, Darren and Iacoboni, Marco. 2012 (forthcoming). “Huxtables on the Brain: An fMRI Study of Race and Norm Violation.” Political Psychology. Google Scholar
Schreiber, Darren M., Simmons, Alan N., Dawes, Christopher T., Flagan, Taru, Fowler, James H. and Paulus, Martin P.. 2009. “Red Brain, Blue Brain: Evaluative Processes Differ in Democrats and Republicans.” Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.Google Scholar
Settle, Jaime E., Dawes, Christopher T., Christakis, Nicholas A., and Fowler, James H.. 2010. “Friendships Moderate an Association between a Dopamine Gene Variant and Political Ideology.” The Journal of Politics 72 (04): 1189–98.Google Scholar
Shinada, Mizuho, Yamagishi, Toshio and Ohmura, Yu. 2004. “False Friends Are Worse Than Bitter Enemies: ‘Altruistic’ Punishment of in-Group Members.” Evolution and Human Behavior 25 (6): 379–93.Google Scholar
Smith, D. L. 2007. The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War. New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
Smith, Kevin B., Larimer, Christopher W., Littvay, Levente and Hibbing, John R.. 2007. “Evolutionary Theory and Political Leadership: Why Certain People Do Not Trust Decision Makers.” The Journal of Politics 69 (02): 285–99.Google Scholar
Smith, Tom W. 1994. “Attitudes Towards Sexual Permissiveness: Trends, Correlates, and Behavioral Connections.” In Sexuality across the Life Course, ed. Ross, Alice S.. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press. 6397.Google Scholar
Spezio, Michael L., Loesch, Laura, Gosselin, Frédéric, Mattes, Kyle and Alvarez, R. Michael. 2012. “Thin-Slice Decisions Do Not Need Faces to Be Predictive of Election Outcomes.” Political Psychology 33 (3): 331–41.Google Scholar
Stanford, Craig B., 1998. “The Social Behavior of Chimpanzees and Bonobos: Empirical Evidence and Shifting Assumptions,” Current Anthropology, 39 (4): 399420.Google Scholar
Thayer, B. A. 2004. Darwin and International Relations: On the Evolutionary Origins of War and Ethnic Conflict. Lexington KT: University of Kentucky Press.Google Scholar
Tooby, John, Cosmides, Leda and Price, Michael E.. 2006. “Cognitive Adaptions for N-Person Exchange: The Evolutionary Roots of Organizational Behavior.” Managerial and Decision Economics 27: 103–29.Google Scholar
Treas, Judith. 2002. “How Cohorts, Education, and Ideology Shaped a New Sexual Revolution on American Attitudes toward Nonmarital Sex, 1972–1998.” Sociological Perspectives 45 (3): 267–83.Google Scholar
Widmer, Eric D., Treas, Judith and Newcomb, Robert. 1998. “Attitudes toward Nonmarital Sex in 24 Countries.” The Journal of Sex Research 35 (4): 349–58.Google Scholar
Wilson, E. O. 2000. Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Zietsch, B. P., Verweij, K. J., Heath, A. C. and Martin, N. G.. 2011. “Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating.” The American Naturalist 177 (5): 605–16.Google Scholar