Why do people fight?

June 27, 2022Paradiso Noord (Tuinzaal) Amsterdam
Peoplefighting 1600x740
Doors open: 19:30
Start programme: 19:45
Paradiso Noord (Tuinzaal)
IJpromenade 2

Why do people start and support violence against other groups? Why do people attack others? How are game theory and evolution biology used to study such phenomena? How is the choice to attack influenced by hormones? With dwindling resources (due to climate change), can we expect more violence?

Group conflicts – from small-scale riots to interstate warfare – are wasteful to a degree that is hard to overestimate. At the same time, humans have extraordinary capacities to empathize and cooperate to mutual benefit. How can we reconcile these two seeming opposites?

Behavioral scientist Carsten de Dreu focuses in this talk on the reasons humans have to fight and engage in violent conflict. He will consider discoveries in evolutionary biology, social neuroscience and behavioral economics. Answers may give us novel tools to prevent wasteful conflict and promote constructive exchange among human groups.

This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of NWA route 2. Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso Amsterdam and acknowledges the support of New Scientist NL.


  • 19:45–   20:15
    Cavolo Nero– 
  • 20:30–   21:30
    Carsten De Dreu– 

Talk by

Carsten De Dreu

Carsten De Dreu is a behavioral scientist and professor. He studies the neurobiological, psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of conflict and cooperation in humans. Carsten works at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam, and is fellow at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the University of Oxford. In 2018 he received the Spinoza Award, the highest science award in the Netherlands.

Picture De Dreu 2017

Music by

Cavolo Nero

Cavolo Nero is the ingredient for all kinds of Tuscan specialties, but also a six-piece band from Utrecht. The brand new project was born out of love for afrobeat and groove-oriented music. With inspirations such as Nu Guinea, Khruangbin and Jungle By Night they play psychedelic grooves combined with indie and disco elements. Expect a lot of energy and the urge to dance to exotic grooves. The band consists of the members: Chris Walthaus (bass guitar, vox), Jelle Crooijmans (guitar, vox), Sjors Derks (guitar), Boudewijn Snijders (keys, vox), Daan van de Ven (drums), Omar Beganovic (percussion).

Cavolo Nero Persfoto 1
DIE Plogo Open