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An evolutionary threat-management approach to prejudices - ScienceDirect
Source: www-sciencedirect-com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca
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Article summary:

1. Prejudices are products of adaptations designed by natural selection to manage fitness-relevant threats and opportunities faced by ancestral populations.

2. Different prejudices come in different affective flavors, as functionally different threats lead to psychologically distinct prejudices.

3. Prejudices are sensitive to context and functionally flexible in their application, being elicited especially when contextual cues connote vulnerability to threat.

Article analysis:

The article "An evolutionary threat-management approach to prejudices" provides an overview of the key insights that have emerged from an evolutionary approach to the psychology of prejudice. The article argues that prejudices and related phenomena are products of adaptations designed by natural selection to manage threats and opportunities faced by ancestral populations. While this framework has generated many novel, nuanced, and empirically supported predictions regarding the specific contents of prejudices, categories of people who are likely to elicit these prejudices, and contexts within which these prejudices are either more or less likely to be evoked, it also has some potential biases.

One potential bias is that the article focuses solely on evolutionary explanations for prejudice while neglecting other factors such as socialization, culture, and individual differences. This narrow focus may lead readers to overlook the complex interplay between biology and environment in shaping human behavior.

Another potential bias is that the article assumes a universal human nature without considering cultural variation in attitudes towards different groups. For example, while the article suggests that men and women differ in why they are prejudiced against outgroup men, it does not explore how these gender differences might vary across cultures.

The article also makes some unsupported claims such as suggesting that contemporary prejudices are typically viewed as outcomes of psychological adaptations 'designed' by natural selection without providing evidence for this claim. Additionally, while the article acknowledges that people generate many false alarms when responding to potentially threatening cues, it does not explore how these false alarms might contribute to harmful stereotypes and discrimination.

Furthermore, the article presents a one-sided view of prejudice as primarily driven by threat management mechanisms without exploring alternative explanations such as social identity theory or cognitive dissonance theory. By presenting only one perspective on prejudice, the article may oversimplify a complex phenomenon.

Overall, while the evolutionary threat-management approach provides valuable insights into the psychology of prejudice, it is important to consider its potential biases and limitations when interpreting its findings.