Belfer Center Home > People > Michael Bang Peterson

« Back to list of experts


Michael Bang Peterson



By Date


AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh

Fall 2011

"States in Mind: Evolution, Coalitional Psychology, and International Politics"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 2, volume 36

By Anthony C. Lopez, Rose McDermott and Michael Bang Peterson

Viewing coalitions through the lens of evolutionary psychology leads to several hypotheses that can help generate important predictions about group behavior. For example, studies show that humans represent coalitions as a special category of relatively unreliable individual, which has implications for theories on conflict and cooperation among states.† The study of psychological mechanisms also indicates that factors such as a manís strength, whether or not a woman has children, and the size of a coalition can help predict whether or not an individual will support an aggressive foreign policy.

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President†Mikhail Gorbachev.