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Hamilton’s theory of kin selection (inclusive fitness) provides a framework for understanding social interactions between relatives. It suggests that individuals should show greater selfish restraint, less aggression and greater altruism toward closer relatives. Kin selection theory predicts when conflicts as well as cooperation should occur. In this chapter, we summarize the basic principles of kin selection and how they can be applied to specific areas. We provide a very general discussion, using the best examples available, which are often from nonhuman animals.

Original publication





Book title

Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology

Publication Date



91 - 114