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Violent CRED s toward Out-Groups Increase Trustworthiness: Preliminary Experimental Evidence

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
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  • 1 LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • | 2 LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
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Abstract

In the process of cultural learning, people tend to acquire mental representations and behavior from prestigious individuals over dominant ones, as prestigious individuals generously share their expertise and know-how to gain admiration, whereas dominant ones use violence, manipulation, and intimidation to enforce obedience. However, in the context of intergroup conflict, violent thoughts and behavior that are otherwise associated with dominance can hypothetically become prestigious because parochial altruists, who engage in violence against out-groups, act in the interest of their group members, therefore prosocially. This shift would imply that for other in-groups, individuals behaving violently toward out-groups during intergroup conflicts become simultaneously prestigious, making them desirable cultural models to learn from. Using the mechanism of credibility enhancing displays (CRED s), this article presents preliminary vignette-based evidence that violent CRED s toward out-groups during intergroup conflict increase the perceived trustworthiness of a violent cultural model.

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