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Michael Bang Petersen

This chapter discusses the contributions that biology can make to one subfield in political science: how evolutionary psychology provides a toolkit for generating hypotheses in political psychology, a subfield within the discipline that has attained a substantial level of interest. The concepts and theoretical assumptions of evolutionary psychology are described and their applications to political psychology are developed. To illustrate the relevance of evolutionary psychology, one case study is provided: the deservingness hypothesis. The focus is on the extent to which welfare recipients are considered as deserving or undeserving. The implications of this from an evolutionary perspective are outlined. This case study suggests a role for evolutionary theory in our understanding of political psychology.

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Michael Bang Petersen, Andreas Roepstorff and Søren Serritzlew