Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Theses
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Item"Brothers" in arms: an investigation into the effects of kinship, culture of honour, kinship metaphor, and threat on parochial altruismABOU ABDALLAH, MARIA ( 2014)Present in many forms of violent inter-group conflict, parochial altruism is characterised by a high amount of ingroup benefit, self-sacrifice, and intended harm towards an outgroup. Extreme examples include action taken by soldiers and suicide bombers, but parochial altruism can also be enacted by non-militant individuals in more mundane intergroup conflicts. Evidence from kin altruism and kin recognition research suggests that acts of great self-sacrifice are more likely to occur for the benefit of one’s kin than for other types of ingroup members. To wit, anthropologists and psychologists have argued that parochial altruism is more likely to occur for kin than for others, and instances in which it occurs for the benefit of non-kin are those of fictive kinship. In light of this reasoning, a two-part cultural-evolutionary model for the elicitation of parochial altruism is proposed in order to explain these potential relationships between kinship, fictive kinship, and parochial altruism, and to provide a testable framework. The first part of the model, called the parochial altruism kinship script (PAKS) explains why parochial altruism may be more likely to occur for the benefit of kin than others. In doing so, it takes into consideration the role of threat to the ingroup for eliciting parochial altruism, cultural norms surrounding the PAKS, and potential differences between honour and nonhonour cultures in the application of the PAKS. The second part of the model explores how the PAKS may be applied to non-kin by the use of kinship metaphors, leading to an increase in parochial altruism on their behalf. In addition, birth order, which prior research suggests may affect the extent to which individuals are susceptible to kinship metaphors, is included in the investigation of the second part of the model. The model was tested across five studies using samples from Australia, Lebanon, and the United States.