The Evolution of Prejudice

By Daisy Grewal, Scientific American Mind

4/5/11

An excerpt: Psychologists have long known that many people are prejudiced towards others based on group affiliations, be they racial, ethnic, religious, or even political. However, we know far less about why people are prone to prejudice in the first place. New research, using monkeys, suggests that the roots lie deep in our evolutionary past.

Yale graduate student Neha Mahajan, along with a team of psychologists, traveled to Cayo Santiago, an uninhabited island southeast of Puerto Rico also known as “Monkey Island,” in order to study the behavior of rhesus monkeys. Like humans, rhesus monkeys live in groups and form strong social bonds. The monkeys also tend to be wary of those they perceive as potentially threatening. 

Read the article.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.



Posted:  by agomberg
Join the Network    
Users are able to post news & publications, maintain a profile, and participate in discussion forums related to research on virtues.