Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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


  • Roos Haer
  • Tobias Hecker
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_258-1



Violence is defined by World Health Organization as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either result in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (Krug et al. 2002).


Evidence throughout history serves as a powerful reminder that contemporary violence is not a new phenomenon (e.g., Keeley 1996). Archeological evidence for violence between early humans is indisputable; human skeletons have been found (sometimes in mass burial sites) containing cranial and rib fractures that appear inexplicable except by the force of clubs and weapons that stab (e.g., Keeley 1996). Also, crafting tools necessary for inflicting severe harm on other humans, such as stone axes and wooden spears, were developed at least 400,000 years ago (e.g., Liddle et al. 2012)....

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tara DeLecce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA