ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 2084-2096.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.02084

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution of intergroup bias: Adaptation to the threats of violence and disease

ZHOU Qing, WU Qi()   

  1. Cognition and Human Behavior Key Laboratory of Hunan Province, Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410006, China
  • Received:2019-04-17 Online:2019-12-15 Published:2019-10-21
  • Contact: WU Qi


Ingroup favoritism and ingroup derogation are very common our social lives, but the researchers still don’t know why these two kinds of intergroup biases can exist and whether these two kinds of biases have evolutionary functions. By systematically reviewing the research reports about the evidence that these two kinds of intergroup biases follow the principles of smoke detection and functional flexibility to deal with the threats of violence and disease incurred by ingroups and outgroups, the literature review showed that although the directions of ingroup favoritism and ingroup derogation are completely opposite to each other, both of these two biases are adaptive responses of the same threat management mechanism which is designed to deal with specific ingroup and outgroup threats. In conclusion, the current evidence suggests that the intergroup bias has adaptive functions and thus it supports the evolutionary hypothesis of intergroup bias.

Key words: ingroup favoritism, ingroup derogation, threat, smoke detection, functional flexibility

CLC Number: