• Maria Emília Yamamoto Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
  • Fívia de Araújo Lopes Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte


Evolutionary Psychology, ethnocentrism, cooperation, group cohesion.


The evolutionary natural selection model is no longer a matter exclusive to Biology, now being debated in fields as diverse as Psychology, Economy, Social Sciences and Philosophy. Evolutionary Psychology is regarded as one of the most successful approaches to investigating human behavior from an evolutionary perspective. It proposes that the human mind works through evolutionary-derived psychological mechanisms that would be universal and reminiscent of the past conditions in which they evolved. One of these mechanisms would
be ethnocentrism (favoritism to one's own ethnic group and indifference or hostility towards other ethics groups), which is present in all human cultures. Race and religion are among frequently used markers of group
pertinence in this context. Based on an empirical investigation we observed that religion fulfills the marker function, as the absence of faith. Evolutionary studies have consistently indicated the existence of universal patterns of behavior in our species. Such patterns are modulated by physical and social surroundings. Those with which we cooperate are chosen on under ethnocentric bias. Nevertheless, some conditions can diminish the influence of markers, suggesting that artificial categories such as race, ethnicity and religion result from coalition identification mechanisms, and as such could be easily dissolved.