Editorial: Parochial Altruism – Pitfalls and Prospects

Frontiers in Psychology 7 (2016)
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The ten original studies included in this Research Topic investigate selected assumptions and predictions of parochial altruism theory in detail. We, the editors, are convinced that their highly instructive findings will help researchers interested in parochial altruism, but also in intergroup psychology more generally, to gain a much more fine-grained understanding of the interplay of altruistic and spiteful motives in human decision making in the context of intergroup relations. The broad range of disciplines represented by the authors contributing to this Research Topic and the variety of methods used in their studies are representative for the current interdisciplinary interest in parochial altruism. The most important insight that, in our view, can be derived from the works collected here is that human decision making in intergroup contexts is more complex than suggested by current theory. Thus, we hope that future theorizing on parochial altruism will be stimulated by the evidence gathered in this Research Topic. In this editorial, we briefly highlight central findings reported here, which, to us, appear most informative for prospective enhancements of parochial altruism theory.


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