Cross-cultural research on the recalibrational theory of anger

Evolutionary theories make predictions about universal features of the mind as well as culturally-contingent expressions of that design. For both these reasons, it is important to test the central tenents of the recalibrational theory of anger on a diverse sample of cultures and to explore aspects of anger that respond to different ecological circumstances or cultural norms.

Furthermore, if anger is indeed an adaptation designed by natural selection over evolutionary time then its computational pieces were selected in environments very different from modern industrial nations. By studying individuals from foraging societies we can observe and test anger mechanisms in environments more closely related to those in which anger evolved.

Different predictions of the recalibrational theory have been tested among many different people around the world with the aid of a commited group of anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists.

Field Sites

Andean Pastorialists in Argentina: Colla

Descended from a native Aymara people who were first colonized by the Incans and later by the Spaniards. The Colla people practice herding and gardening in Northwest Argentina. Two towns, Gobernador Sola' and Ingeniero Maury, were contacted and studied by Daniel Sznycer.

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Bolivian Native Americans: Tsimane

The Tsimane are a rapidly acculturating Native American group of foragers and horticulturalists who live in the lowlands of Bolivia along the Maniqui River.

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Aka hunter-gatherers in the Central African Republic

The Aka are a group of so-called “pygmy” hunter-gathers in the Central African Republic with one of the most egalitarian societies ever discovered.

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Citizens of Romania

The Romanian people have experienced numerous political revolutions within the lifetime of many of their citizens. After freeing themselves from Nicolae Ceauşescu's communist rule, under which 2 million Romanians were killed, Romania has joined NATO and recently became a member of the European Union (Jan. 1, 2007).

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Citizens of Denmark

Denmark is one of the most culturally homogenous countries in Western Europe. It has little crime, and both high levels of economic equality and a high standard of living.

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  Roxana Toma

Shuar Foragers of Ecuador

The Shuar are an Amazonian group of horticulturalists with a proud history of warriorship and resistence to colonization. They are among the only South American people to resist both Incan and Spanish rule.

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