The Evolution of Intergroup Bias: Perceptions and Attitudes in Rhesus Macaques: Retraction of Mahajan, Martinez, Gutierrez, Diesendruck, Banaji, and Santos (2011)

Neha Mahajan,, Margaret A Martinez, Natashya L Gutierrez, Gil Diesendruck, Mahzarin R Banaji, Laurie R Santos,

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Reports the retraction of "The evolution of intergroup bias: Perceptions and attitudes in rhesus macaques" by Neha Mahajan, Margaret A. Martinez, Natashya L. Gutierrez, Gil Diesendruck, Mahzarin R. Banaji and Laurie R. Santos (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011[Mar], Vol 100[3], 387-405). The retraction is at the request of the authors. This article reported two independent sets of effects concerning monkeys' intergroup behavior: (a) that there are differences in monkeys' vigilance toward ingroup and outgroup members (Experiments 1-5) and (b) that monkeys show implicit associations toward ingroup and outgroup members (Experiments 6 and 7). After lab members were unable to replicate the first set of published effects for new research purposes, the authors determined that the looking time coding performed by one of the coauthors, N. Mahajan, was inaccurate and did not reflect the looking times found by other trained coders. Ms. Mahajan takes sole responsibility for the inaccurate coding. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-01598-001.) Social psychologists have learned a great deal about the nature of intergroup conflict and the attitudinal and cognitive processes that enable it. Less is known about where these processes come from in the first place. In particular, do our strategies for dealing with other groups emerge in the absence of human-specific experiences? One profitable way to answer this question has involved administering tests that are conceptual equivalents of those used with adult humans in other species, thereby exploring the continuity or discontinuity of psychological processes. We examined intergroup preferences in a nonhuman species, the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). We found the first evidence that a nonhuman species automatically distinguishes the faces of members of its own social group from those in other groups and displays greater vigilance toward outgroup members (Experiments 1-3). In addition, we observed that macaques spontaneously associate novel objects with specific social groups and display greater vigilance to objects associated with outgroup members (Experiments 4-5). Finally, we developed a looking time procedure-the Looking Time Implicit Association Test, which resembles the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995)-and we discovered that macaques, like humans, automatically evaluate ingroup members positively and outgroup members negatively (Experiments 6-7). These field studies represent the first controlled experiments to examine the presence of intergroup attitudes in a nonhuman species. As such, these studies suggest that the architecture of the mind that enables the formation of these biases may be rooted in phylogenetically ancient mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)182
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


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