• Biology;
  • culture;
  • evolution;
  • genetics;
  • individual variance

Biology and culture continually and interactively cocreate. In order to fully understand culture, the biological pathways that co-occur must also be appreciated. And in order to determine how biological influences manifest in social behaviors, culture cannot be discarded. Here we discuss the interaction between genes and culture and show the ways in which each influences and informs the other. We argue that this interaction is profoundly important in shaping a wide variety of political and institutional differences across populations, including critical processes such as cooperation and conflict. We apply a levels-of-analysis approach to the study of individuals, cultures, and populations. In doing so, we discuss the potentially critical role of gene-environment mismatch in precipitating many political and social problems, especially those related to political violence.