Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates by James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray

By James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray

This booklet explores the position of aggression in primate social structures and its implications for human habit. many folks glance to primate experiences to determine if and the way we would have the ability to are expecting violent habit in people, or eventually to regulate conflict. Of specific curiosity within the examine of primate aggression are questions resembling: how do primates use aggression to take care of social association; what are the prices of aggression; why do a little primates stay away from competitive habit altogether. scholars and researchers in primatology, behavioral biology, anthropology, and psychology will learn with curiosity because the editors and individuals to this ebook deal with those and different easy learn questions about aggression. they create new details to the subject in addition to an built-in view of aggression that mixes vital evolutionary concerns with developmental, sociological and cultural perspectives.

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Sample text

Over 50 years ago, a pioneer in "pecking order" research, warned against a simplistic assumption that dominance reflects a single factor: [V]ery often . . birds peck one another . . in a "triangle": a pecks b, b pecks c, and c again pecks a. [Perhaps] strength has given a despotism over b, courage has made b despot over c, and circumstances have caused c to become despot over a (Schjelderup-Ebbe 1935:952-953). His admonitions about the single-determinant fallacy and the frequency of triangles (Sade's "cycles," Chapter 3) have often been ignored, as mass media popularizers and some scientific ethologists resonated back and forth to stereotype the dominance hierarchy as linear (transitive), rigid and based essentially on fighting ability.

Before we can use a conceptual theory for cross-species comparisons of behavioral patterns, we must be sure that we have identified the equivalent phenomena in each species. This requirement is especially important when we deal with such ill-defined concepts as aggression or peacefulness. In the context of the present discussion, we need to ask if the behaviors involved in descriptions of dominance and violence among nonhuman primates bear any but the most superficial resemblance to the phenomenon of human warfare.

Tell us about the dynamics of violence in those populations and may inspire testable VIOLENCE AND PEACEFULNESS AS BEHAVIORAL POTENTIALITIES OF PRIMATES 25 hypotheses about relationships between the "violence variable" and other variables that may be applicable across species. However, there is no reason to choose one species of nonhuman primate and argue that it is the best model for explaining the role of violence in human social life. An implication of these two points is that there is little hope of constructing a "precultural" ethogram of human agonistic behavior based on the study of a single nonhuman primate species.

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