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  1.  28
    On the deep structure of social affect: Attitudes, emotions, sentiments, and the case of “contempt”.Matthew M. Gervais & Daniel M. T. Fessler - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
    Contempt is typically studied as a uniquely human moral emotion. However, this approach has yielded inconclusive results. We argue this is because the folk affect concept “contempt” has been inaccurately mapped onto basic affect systems. “Contempt” has features that are inconsistent with a basic emotion, especially its protracted duration and frequently cold phenomenology. Yet other features are inconsistent with a basic attitude. Nonetheless, the features of “contempt” functionally cohere. To account for this, we revive and reconfigure thesentimentconstruct using the notion (...)
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  2.  13
    Moral parochialism and contextual contingency across seven societies.Daniel M. T. Fessler, H. Clark Barrett, Martin Kanovsky, Stephen P. Stich, Colin Holbrook, Joseph Henrich, Alexander H. Bolyanatz, Matthew M. Gervais, Michael Gurven, Geoff Kushnick, Anne C. Pisor, Christopher von Rueden & Stephen Laurence - 2015 - Proceedings of the Royal Society; B (Biological Sciences) 282:20150907.
    Human moral judgement may have evolved to maximize the individual's welfare given parochial culturally constructed moral systems. If so, then moral condemnation should be more severe when transgressions are recent and local, and should be sensitive to the pronouncements of authority figures (who are often arbiters of moral norms), as the fitness pay-offs of moral disapproval will primarily derive from the ramifications of condemning actions that occur within the immediate social arena. Correspondingly, moral transgressions should be viewed as less objectionable (...)
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  3.  6
    Men’s Physical Strength Moderates Conceptualizations of Prospective Foes in Two Disparate Societies.Daniel M. T. Fessler, Colin Holbrook & Matthew M. Gervais - 2014 - Human Nature 25 (3):393-409.
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  4.  17
    Moral parochialism misunderstood: a reply to Piazza and Sousa.Daniel M. T. Fessler, Colin Holbrook, Martin Kanovsky, H. Clark Barrett, Alexander H. Bolyanatz, Matthew M. Gervais, Michael Gurven, Joseph Henrich, Geoff Kushnick, Anne C. Pisor, Stephen P. Stich, Christopher von Rueden & Stephen Laurence - 2016 - Proceedings of the Royal Society; B (Biological Sciences) 283.
  5.  11
    Evolution after mirror neurons: Tapping the shared manifold through secondary adaptation.Matthew M. Gervais - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (2):200-201.
    Cook et al. laudably call for careful comparative research into the development of mirror neurons. However, they do so within an impoverished evolutionary framework that does not clearly distinguish ultimate and proximate causes and their reciprocal relations. As a result, they overlook evidence for the reliable develop of mirror neurons in biological and cultural traits evolved to work through them.
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  6.  18
    Seeing the elephant: Parsimony, functionalism, and the emergent design of contempt and other sentiments.Matthew M. Gervais & Daniel M. T. Fessler - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
    The target article argues that contempt is a sentiment, and that sentiments are the deep structure of social affect. The 26 commentaries meet these claims with a range of exciting extensions and applications, as well as critiques. Most significantly, we reply that construction and emergence are necessary for, not incompatible with, evolved design, while parsimony requires explanatory adequacy and predictive accuracy, not mere simplicity.
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  7.  10
    Revenge without redundancy: Functional outcomes do not require discrete adaptations for vengeance or forgiveness.Colin Holbrook, Daniel Mt Fessler & Matthew M. Gervais - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):22-23.
    We question whether the postulated revenge and forgiveness systems constitute true adaptations. Revenge and forgiveness are the products of multiple motivational systems and capacities, many of which did not exclusively evolve to support deterrence. Anger is more aptly construed as an adaptation that organizes independent mechanisms to deter transgressors than as the mediator of a distinct revenge adaptation.
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