Coalition instincts: what they are, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages

It was the American anthropologist John Tooby who proposed the idea that the concept called “coalition instinct” should have more recognition within psychology and the scientific community because he considers that they have a great influence in the society and the beliefs of the people.

Coalition instincts are considered by many evolutionary scientists to be an inherent characteristic of human nature that greatly influences the behavior of people within their social environment.

In this article, we will explain what the concept of coalition instinct is, as well as how they can influence people’s lives.

    What are coalition instincts?

    Although there is no consensual definition of this concept, the definition that coalition instincts are a repertoire of innate and universal instincts that influence the way humans behave in social contexts.

    These instincts push people to seek to regroup, to belong to an association, to defend certain values, to oppose or resist certain things, to attack in certain contexts; in short, forming several coalitions in different contexts which push a person to act in different ways depending on whether he has been moved by one type of coalition or another.

    Each coalition is made up of a group of people who see themselves and / or are seen by others as sharing a particular identity that they all have in common.

    This way of seeing others is characteristic of the human being, since Throughout evolution, the ability to unite in coalitions has been learned, knowing that two people can beat one, three can beat two, and so on., moving from dominant males to a coalition group where members join forces to respond to dangers and threats outside the group, for if anyone stayed he was only at the mercy of others and his life was in danger, so coalition instincts motivated all human beings to belong to a protection group.

    This showed that forming coalitions has been of great help in solving some challenges as a group as they cannot be solved individually, this has great benefits.

    That is why we descend from those who knew how to use their coalition instincts correctly to join forces and survive, so we inherited these instincts. For this reason, today we follow our coalition instincts to be part of various types of coalitions (at work, in family, different social groups, associations, sports teams, and even by nationality, among others).

      Coalition instincts as a need to belong to a group

      Coalition instincts create the need for human beings to belong to a coalition, and in some cases this need to be part of a coalition could, among other things, be the reason why certain groups have a set of strange beliefs and beliefs. disconnected from reality (eg, in sects).

      These instincts might even be a reason why this need to be part of a group occurs, even if they are radical ideas in which its members are considered morally superior to those who do not share ideas and there is rejection towards them.

      In addition, some groups make a number of demands on those who wish to join, including unconditional support for the group in the face of those who oppose their ideas.

      On the other hand, there are a number of cross-cultural studies which have shown that the human being, in addition to being social, is cooperative by nature, which could be seen by studying the social behavior of thousands of children from different cultures, where they have been shown to be psychologically adapted to cooperate with others.

        Problems that can be generated by coalition instincts

        Sometimes coalition instincts can lead to conflict in various sectors, such as science, politics or sport.

        In the science sector, when coalitions are formed by certain scientists on the basis of certain issues studied, it can be detrimental if they maintain an iron and inflexible position based on the ideas of the coalition formed, in a way that they can moralize the scientific process, finding it difficult for another group to refute the validity of their research.

        Even when the results are proven against the assumptions based on their coalition, these groups might put their interests ahead of scientific truth, which should prevail over their own interests for the common good. , since science, above all, should seek development and advancement. based on contrasting findings, without being biased by the ideals of any coalition.

        Therefore, it is not uncommon throughout history that all kinds of attacks are generated between different coalitions of members belonging to different scientific scholastics on the basis of a struggle to be right. Something very similar to what happened to different political parties, radical ideological groups, even sports fan groups.

        When a group moves or insane coalition instincts, the substance of the matter can be based on various reasons, such as dominance of a territory, status, struggle for certain resources, seizure of power, force. moral, etc.

        Likewise, in this class of coalitions, it often happens that members of their coalition reprimand certain conduct on the part of someone outside their group and, in the event that a member of their group acts in a similar way, they will be able to forgive their actions and even justify their behavior..

        However, coalition instincts do not generate conflict in all cases, but are usually provoked when groups are formed on the basis of a series of extremist ideas and group members maintain a closed and inflexible position, without open the doors to debate.

        Taking these extreme cases, in general, they have helped the human being to form groups, uniting the strengths of each member of different groups, so that great successes were achieved that one person would not have been able to achieve, as we discussed at the beginning.

          Coalition instincts in the workplace

          Coalition instincts, just as they have enabled human beings to come together as members of a group to move forward and survive in difficult situations, at present they can also be positive for better development in the workplace.

          Coalitions develop when different people come together for a common cause and, in the case of a job, it would be to achieve the goals of the company they work for, with each member contributing their grain of sand with the tasks you have to do, so that when everyone performs their duties, these goals are usually achieved.

          There are business leaders who are interested in encouraging the creation of these workplace coalitions. because they can be a great tool to create a good working atmosphere which helps your employees to coordinate and work more efficiently, helping each other. With good cohesion and good performance in the workplace, workers are more likely to obtain extrinsic (economic benefits) and intrinsic (being satisfied with the job) rewards.

          Therefore, it can be useful for managers to encourage their employees to seek common sense about the company, so that everyone has the same sense of belonging and the bond between them and the company is intensified. business.

          These situations can also occur in other contexts that facilitate the development of coalitions, such as among students, athletes of the same team, etc.

          Bibliographical references

          • Malo, P. (sf). Day Evolutionary Psychology of Conflict and the Functions of Lying. Hyperbole review.
          • Petersen, M., Osmundsen, M., & Tooby, J. (August 29, 2020). The Evolutionary Psychology of Conflict and the Functions of the False.
          • Rodriguez, J. (January 14, 2020). We humans are cooperative by nature. Research and Sciences.
          • Taylor, T. (January 8, 2018). How coalition instincts make weird groups and stupid people. BBN time.
          • Tooby, J. (November 22, 2017). Coalition instincts. edge.

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