Evolutionary Psychology – Why Do People Kill?

why do people kill

Many people ask themselves the question “why do people kill?” A former LAPD officer has been charged with the murder of his former employer, while an Olympic athlete is accused of killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. While these high-profile cases are not particularly surprising, they raise questions about why people kill. An evolutionary psychologist has compiled a list of possible reasons, which includes a need for power. Here are some of the theories on why people kill.

First, it’s essential to consider the psychological and cultural factors that lead people to kill. While violent media messages may influence some, these do not explain the high murder rate among tribal groups. Furthermore, theories positing that violence is a uniquely modern phenomenon are not consistent with the paleontological record, where skulls are replete with arrow tips, stone projectiles, and brutally inflicted fractures. These stones reveal that murder has been a persistent problem in social living throughout history.

Another explanation for the rise of genocide is a need for scapegoats. People look for victims of difficult times and are unable to cope with the reality of their circumstances. Therefore, wiping out a subset of a population is seen as a way to overcome this hardship and deal with a problem. In reality, genocide is a complex process and does not occur spontaneously. The reasons why people kill are complex, but they are not surprising.