Reasons to strike first

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (2019)
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De Dreu and Gross predict that attackers will have more difficulty winning conflicts than defenders. As their analysis is presumed to capture the dynamics of decentralized conflict, we consider how their framework compares with ethnographic evidence from small-scale societies, as well as chimpanzee patterns of intergroup conflict. In these contexts, attackers have significantly more success in conflict than predicted by De Dreu and Gross's model. We discuss the possible reasons for this disparity.



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