Group Display

Topics: Lynching / Pages: 3 (707 words) / Published: Apr 5th, 2013
The first explanation of group display as an adaptive response is lynch mobs. Social transitions and the need for conformity have been cited as the fundamental cause of American lynchings because of the fear of the Negro, and a lynch law was a means of social control. Of the documented lynchings in the late 1800s, nearly three quarters of victims were black it is said that “lynch mobs were more active during that period since it was a time of major social transition after the collapse of slavery, where the entire community felt at risk so survival of the group becomes more important. The power threat model is also linked to lynchings since the racist myth of Negroes’ uncontrollable desire to rape white women was defence of the lynching practice and the threat model of lynch mobs is based on the hypothesis that groups posing a threat to the majority are more likely to be lynched or discriminated against.
Commentary on social transitions and the need for conformity includes that groups in which cooperation thrived were also those that flourished which explains why, when a majority group is more at risk as a consequence of social change, individual self-interest would give way to group-interest. Commentary on the power-threat hypothesis includes evidence from lynchings in Brazil contradicts ideas that the threat of dangerous classes in society was a key factor in lynchings since the percentage of Afro-Brazilians in the community was negatively correlated with lynch-mob violence.
The second explanation is religious rituals and the cost-signalling theory. The costs of religious rituals are the critical feature contributing to the success of religion, and natural selection would have favoured their development. Engaging in painful rituals signals commitment to a group and for what it stands and it has been suggested that the significant costs of rituals deter anyone who doesn’t believe the

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