Violent CREDs toward out-groups increase trustworthiness : Preliminary experimental evidence



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Cognition and Culture
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords intergroup violence; credibility enhancing displays; prestige bias; trustworthiness; parochial altruism
Description In the process of cultural learning, people tend to acquire mental representations and behavior from prestigious individuals over dominant ones, as prestigious individuals generously share their expertise and know-how to gain admiration, whereas dominant ones use violence, manipulation, and intimidation to enforce obedience. However, in the context of intergroup conflict, violent thoughts and behavior that are otherwise associated with dominance can hypothetically become prestigious because parochial altruists, who engage in violence against out-groups, act in the interest of their group members, therefore prosocially. This shift would imply that for other in-groups, individuals behaving violently toward out-groups during intergroup conflicts become simultaneously prestigious, making them desirable cultural models to learn from. Using the mechanism of credibility enhancing displays (CREDs), this article presents preliminary vignette-based evidence that violent CREDs toward out-groups during intergroup conflict increase the perceived trustworthiness of a violent cultural model.
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