Department of Psychology, University of Oslo & Department of Political Science, Aarhus University
Innate Building-blocks of Political Psychology
Perhaps the strongest argument that there has been selection for social-coordination mechanisms in humans is empirical evidence for psychological systems that represent and motivate such social navigation already in preverbal infancy. I will argue (and present evidence) that the basic logic of the infant representations and motives for formidability-based dominance and equality elucidate, and are reflected, in the political psychology of adults, from cross-national to genetic levels. I will also present ongoing work suggesting that preverbal infants (and preschoolers) are endowed with mental representations and motives for direct reciprocity and gratitude, consistent with an evolved system of reciprocal altruism. Finally, I will present pilot work that preverbal infants also represent evolved, non-formidability-based principles for resolving resource conflict, such as ownership/prior possession.