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Inter-Group Conflict and Cooperation: Field Experiments Before, During and After Sectarian Riots in Northern Ireland

Silva, AS; Mace, R; (2015) Inter-Group Conflict and Cooperation: Field Experiments Before, During and After Sectarian Riots in Northern Ireland. Frontiers in Psychology , 6 p. 1790. 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01790. Green open access

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Abstract

The idea that cooperative groups out-compete less cooperative groups has been proposed as a theoretical possibility for the evolution of cooperation through cultural group selection. Previous studies have found an association between increased cooperation and exposure to inter-group violence, but most have not been able to identify the specific target of cooperation and are based on correlational data making it difficult to establish causality. In this study we test the hypothesis that inter-group conflict promotes parochial altruism (i.e., in-group altruism and out-group hostility) by using longitudinal data of a real-world measure of cooperation-charity and school donations-sampled before, during and after violent sectarian riots between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We find that conflict is associated with reductions in all types of cooperation, with reduced donations to a neutral charity, and both in-group and out-group primary schools. After the conflict, both in-group and out-group donations increased again. In this context we find no evidence that inter-group conflict promotes parochial altruism.

Type: Article
Title: Inter-Group Conflict and Cooperation: Field Experiments Before, During and After Sectarian Riots in Northern Ireland
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01790
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01790
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Silva and Mace. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: cooperation and conflict, donations, evolution of cooperation, in-group favoritism, parochial altruism, real world behavior
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475962
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