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Johannes KellerUniversity of Mannheim Please ask the editor of the journal.

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Herbert BlessUniversity of Mannheim Please ask the editor of the journal.

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The principle of natural selection, which emphasizes the role of reproductive fitness, is at the heart of every Darwinian evolutionary theory. It is based on the fundamental assumption that three principles guide the evolutionary process: phenotypic variation, differential fitness, and heritability. According to this general model, individual differences in phenotypic characteristics result in differences in reproductive fitness, and for evolution to occur, these differences must be heritable, that is, reliably passed on via shared genes. Thus, evolutionary theory entails the assumption of genetic predispositions based on genetically inherited adaptations. We propose that this belief in genetic predispositions reflects a distinct form of psychological essentialism, and that it is represented in the lay theories people apply to form mental representations of social groups and to explain and justify the social world that surrounds them. As a consequence, we propose that the belief in genetic predispositions is related to processes of stereotyping, prejudice, and system-justification. Moreover, we argue that this belief helps people to satisfy epistemic needs. We report on data that reveal a significant relationship between the subjective belief in genetic predispositions and basic processes of social cognition as mentioned above.

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Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology
Language English
Size  
Year of
Foundation
2003
Publication
Programme
changed title
Volumes
per Year
 
Issues
per Year
 
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1589-5254 (Print)
ISSN 1589-7397 (Online)

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