Family counts: deciding when to murder among the Icelandic Vikings

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Family counts : deciding when to murder among the Icelandic Vikings. / Palmstierna, Markel; Frangou, Anna; Wallette, Anna; Dunbar, Robin.

I: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 38, Nr. 1, 03.2017, s. 175-180.

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Palmstierna, Markel ; Frangou, Anna ; Wallette, Anna ; Dunbar, Robin. / Family counts : deciding when to murder among the Icelandic Vikings. I: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2017 ; Vol. 38, Nr. 1. s. 175-180.

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Family counts

T2 - Evolution and Human Behavior

AU - Palmstierna, Markel

AU - Frangou, Anna

AU - Wallette, Anna

AU - Dunbar, Robin

PY - 2017/3

Y1 - 2017/3

N2 - In small scale societies, lethal attacks on another individual usually invite revenge by the victim's family. We might expect those who perpetrate such attacks to do so only when their own support network (mainly family) is larger than that of the potential victim so as to minimise the risk of retaliation. Using data from Icelandic family sagas, we show that this prediction holds whether we consider biological kin or affinal kin (in-laws): on average, killers had twice as many relatives as their victims. These findings reinforce the importance of kin as a source of implicit protection even when they are not physically present. The results also support Hughes' (1988) claim that affines are biological kin because of the shared genetic interests they have in the offspring generation.

AB - In small scale societies, lethal attacks on another individual usually invite revenge by the victim's family. We might expect those who perpetrate such attacks to do so only when their own support network (mainly family) is larger than that of the potential victim so as to minimise the risk of retaliation. Using data from Icelandic family sagas, we show that this prediction holds whether we consider biological kin or affinal kin (in-laws): on average, killers had twice as many relatives as their victims. These findings reinforce the importance of kin as a source of implicit protection even when they are not physically present. The results also support Hughes' (1988) claim that affines are biological kin because of the shared genetic interests they have in the offspring generation.

KW - Kinship

KW - Affines

KW - Murder

KW - Icelandic Vikings

KW - Alliances

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85005939418&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.09.001

DO - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.09.001

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 175

EP - 180

JO - Evolution and Human Behavior

JF - Evolution and Human Behavior

SN - 1090-5138

IS - 1

ER -