Are Multiple Minimal Outgroup Males Readily Associated with Threat?

Florian van Leeuwen, Tadeg Quillien, Pascal Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Humans might have a propensity to associate a collective of multiple outgroup males with threat, even in the context of minimally defined groups. We tested this hypothesis using a fear-conditioning paradigm (Study 1) and a signal detection paradigm (Study 2). Results of Study 1 suggest that stimuli showing ingroup males are more easily associated with threat than stimuli showing outgroup males. Results of Study 2 suggest a bias to perceive single males (both ingroup and outgroup) as more threatening than multiple outgroup males. We discuss the contrast with results of previous studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-19
Number of pages4
JournalLetters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017


  • perception
  • threat
  • minimal groups
  • error management


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