Research

Information on research topics
and research ressources at the LFE

Social Assortment

Humans organize social life within large-scale and complex systems of social groups. Defining oneself both as individual and as a belonging member to a group is an important feature of humans’ psychology. In inter-group contexts humans demonstrate a systematic tendency to favor and copy members of their own group (the in-group) over a different group (the out-group). Thus creating similarities in e.g. appearance or behavior among (in)group members, while at the same time, stabilizing contrast and distance towards out-groups.

Often such social groups are large, including mainly complete strangers. Hence the aforementioned similarities can serve as markers (or tags) to identify strangers as in-group members. Such tags can appear in different forms including skin-color, languages and accents as well as flags, badges and hairstyles. We are interested in children’s developing perception and use of group tags and the cross-cultural variation of tag-based social assortment.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Haun
Director || Head of Department
  • Cohen, E. (2012) The evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans: the case for accent. Current Anthropology, 53(5): 588-616
  • Haun, D.B.M. & Over, H., (in press). Like me: A homophily-based account of human culture. In: Richerson, P.J and Christiansen, M., eds. Cultural Evolution. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press
  • Cohen, E., Haun, D.B.M. (in press). The development of tag-based cooperation via a socially acquired trait. Evolution & Human Behavior.