Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Punitive Sentiment

  • N. Raihani
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1623-1



Punitive sentiment is the desire to harm someone because of their behavior or because of their relative status.


Punitive sentiment is the desire to harm someone – even when doing so incurs a personal cost to the punisher (Clutton-Brock and Parker 1995; Raihani et al. 2012). Punishment can be aimed at cheats in social interactions – this is typically called “responsible” or “justified” punishment. Punishment can also be aimed at cooperative, or helpful individuals, or meted out by the cheating individuals themselves – this is typically called “antisocial punishment” (Herrmann et al. 2008; Sylwester et al. 2013). (Henceforth, the word “punishment” refers only to responsible or justified punishment.) Administering punishment is costly to the punisher as well as to the target. To understand how punitive sentiment could be favored by natural selection, one therefore has to ask how punishers ultimately derive benefits from...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Raihani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Beaver
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA