Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1798773
 


 



The Ancestral Logic of Politics: Upper Body Strength Regulates Men’s Assertion of Self-Interest Over Economic Redistribution


Michael Bang Petersen


University of Aarhus - Department of Political Science

Daniel Sznycer


University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology

Aaron Sell


University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology

Leda Cosmides


University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology

John Tooby


University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology

October 15, 2012

Psychological Science, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Over human evolutionary history, upper body strength has been a major component of fighting ability. Evolutionary models of animal conflict predict that actors with greater fighting ability will more actively attempt to acquire or defend resources than less formidable contestants. Here, we apply these models to political decision-making about redistribution of income and wealth among modern humans. In studies conducted in Argentina, Denmark and the U.S., men with greater upper body strength more strongly endorsed the self-beneficial position: Among men of lower socioeconomic status (SES), strength predicted increased support for redistribution; among men of higher SES, strength predicted increased opposition to redistribution. As personal upper body strength is irrelevant to payoffs from economic policies in modern mass democracies, the continuing role of strength suggests that modern political decision-making is shaped by an evolved psychology designed for small-scale groups.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: Formidability, asymmetric contests, humans, sex, redistribution

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: March 31, 2011 ; Last revised: June 12, 2013

Suggested Citation

Petersen, Michael Bang and Sznycer, Daniel and Sell, Aaron and Cosmides, Leda and Tooby, John, The Ancestral Logic of Politics: Upper Body Strength Regulates Men’s Assertion of Self-Interest Over Economic Redistribution (October 15, 2012). Psychological Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1798773 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1798773

Contact Information

Michael Bang Petersen (Contact Author)
University of Aarhus - Department of Political Science ( email )
Bartholins Allé è
DK-8000 Aarhus, 8000
Denmark
Daniel Sznycer
University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology ( email )
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9660
United States
Aaron Sell
University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology ( email )
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9660
United States
Leda Cosmides
University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology ( email )
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
John Tooby
University of California, Santa Barbara - Center for Evolutionary Psychology ( email )
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9660
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 12,781
Downloads: 1,328
Download Rank: 7,356
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.266 seconds