Cues derived from facial appearance in security-related contexts: a biological and socio-cognitive framework

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Failures in the security process can have profound costs for both the individual and organizations (e.g., fraud costs the British economy approximately £72 billion; NFA, 2012). A biological and socio-cognitive framework may enhance our understanding of the security process, as the two perspectives collectively acknowledge that (i) competition for resources is/was an important factor in human social behavior and evolution (e.g., Bowles, 2009) and (ii) individuals differ in the ways in which they interpret information given their own traits and circumstances. Both levels of explanation (Mayr, 1963; Tinbergen, 1963) could generate novel hypotheses. For example, proximate-level explanations may clarify how resources are defended and extorted, and the cognitive processes underlying the “chess game” between gatekeepers and “gate crashers.” Ultimate-level explanations may clarify why some individuals are more likely than others to succeed at securing or gaining access to resources and whether certain security-related outcomes can be reliably predicted given specific contexts or ecological conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number204
Number of pages4
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2013


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