Coalitional Play Fighting and the Evolution of Coalitional Intergroup Aggression

Human Nature Vol/Iss. 29(3) Springer US Published In Pages: 219-244
By Sugiyama, Michelle Scalise, Mendoza, Marcela, White, Frances, Sugiyama, Lawrence


Researchers examined and coded motor skills used in coalitional play fighting in hunter-gatherer societies to investigate if it was a product of agriculture/industry, or occurred more broadly in non-agricultural populations. Sampling 100 societies from the Ethnographic Atlas, researchers found at least one predictor of such motor patterns showing coalitional play fighting amongst all hunter gatherer groups with information, and multiple predictors among most of the 46 groups. Researchers theorize this coalitional play fighting was training for intergroup aggression such as lethal raids.


No statistical analyses were performed; limited to hunter-gatherer groups.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Researcher's Own

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:noah.rossen milagro.escobar abbe.mccarter anj.droe