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Macachiavellian IntelligenceHow Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World$
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Dario Maestripieri

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501178

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501215.001.0001

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Aggression and Dominance

Aggression and Dominance

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 4 Aggression and Dominance
Source:
Macachiavellian Intelligence
Author(s):

Dario Maestripieri

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226501215.003.0004

Konrad Lorenz, the Austrian ethologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his studies of animal behavior, argued that aggression is a necessary and an inevitable aspect of animal social behavior, although not many behavioral biologists these days share his views on aggression. Aggression has a lot to do with competition; that is, the need or desire of two or more individuals for the same thing. Why are rhesus macaques and humans so aggressive? Because aggression is a valuable tool that is available at a low price. The seemingly senseless aggression of rhesus macaques makes perfect sense if one realizes that what the monkeys really want and fight for is not this or that resource, but power. Monkey power is called dominance, and to understand dominance we must first understand that rhesus macaques, just like people, have social relationships. This chapter explains aggression and dominance in rhesus macaques and humans. It first discusses dominance hierarchies and ranks, and then considers altruism and opportunism in agonistic intervention, before concluding with an analysis of scapegoating.

Keywords:   humans, rhesus macaques, aggression, violence, dominance, hierarchies, ranks, altruism, opportunism, scapegoating

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