Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Evolved Psychology of Warfare

  • Robert BöhmEmail author
  • Hannes Rusch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2964-1



Psychological processes involved in aggressive collective actions of groups toward other groups, typically characterized by high levels of destruction and mortality.


Intergroup violence and warfare can have different forms. In raids, attackers significantly outnumber their opponents, whereas battles involve roughly equal numbers of combatants on both sides. Among traditional small-scale societies, battles occur less often than raids and are often ritualized, nonlethal encounters. In modern societies’ war history, however, there are countless examples of lethal large-scale intergroup encounters, like the Battle of Stalingrad, which caused more than two million military and civilian casualties. This battle was part of the deadliest war of human history, World War II from 1939 to 1945, with more than 60 million deaths overall. Violence between groups remains omnipresent today, causing...


Social Dilemma Intergroup Encounter Intergroup Conflict Cultural Group Selection Aggressive Intergroup 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and EconomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Public EconomicsPhilipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany
  3. 3.Peter Löscher Chair of Business EthicsTU MünchenMunichGermany