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Definition: A hypothesis that selection sometimes acts on an association of individuals in a population rather than directly on the individuals themselves; proposed to explain evolution of individual behaviors that do not benefit an individual directly but may benefit an association that includes the individual performing the behavior. Critical analyses have largely discredited group-selectional hypotheses in favor of alternatives, such as kin selection and reciprocal altruism.
Source: Hickman, C.P., et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology. Fifteenth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.