Managing Ingroup and Outgroup Relationships

Robert Kurzban, Steven Neuberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

56 Scopus citations


The authors expect humans to exhibit discriminate sociality and to possess psychological mechanisms designed to preserve the benefits of sociality and simultaneously limit its costs. They suggests that these evolved, domain-specific mechanisms collectively lead to phenomena that fall under the rubrics of social exclusion, stigmatization, and discrimination. Humans have an array of evolved affective/cognitive mechanisms because different social threats, like different physical threats, must be recognized and responded to appropriately. There exist powerful adaptations designed to counter physical threats in humans, and these influence intragroup relations. These adaptations also appear to be intimately bound together with in-group/outgroup psychology, suggesting that serious threats from conspecifics also came from outside, rather than just inside, an individual's relevant group. The intensity of emotion associated with intergroup conflict and its historical omnipresence is consistent with the view that there are specific adaptations serving the function of group-based competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939376
ISBN (Print)0471264032, 9780471264033
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • Domain-specific mechanisms
  • Ingroup relationships
  • Intergroup relations
  • Outgroup relationships
  • Social cognition
  • Social partners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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