By James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray
This ebook explores the position of aggression in primate social platforms and its implications for human habit.
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Additional resources for Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates
If we eliminate the element of intention or motive in deciding whether a particular agonistic act is pro-social or antisocial we still require some way of distinguishing pro-social violence from quickly resolved agonistic episodes that do not disrupt social life greatly. , higher ranking animals attacking lower ranking ones, or higher ranking animals intervening on the side of the higher ranking of two animals involved in an agonistic episode) and to label all other agonistic acts as antisocial.
A conceptual model is useful in explaining the range of behavior exhibited by a particular species only when combined with much additional data concerning the species in question. In the case of humans, for example, any conceptual theory of violence and nonviolence must consider how the human capacity for culture shapes the operations of variables implicated in the theory. 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.
Sade's analysis permits him to reject the hypothesis that chance is responsible for the pattern of wins and losses in his rhesus data. It does not, however, allow him to reject the Equality (EQ) hypothesis stating that the pattern results from a situation where it is just as difficult for A to defeat X, who is far removed in the dominance hierarchy, as it is for A to defeat B, who is only one step below in the hierarchy. As Sade notes, this finding contradicts the common assumption that rank differences between animals correlate with differences in fighting ability, meaning that, at the very least, individuals in the lower portion of the hierarchy are significantly weaker or less capable in fighting, than those in the upper portion.
Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates by James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray