Origins of Altruism and Cooperation (Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects)
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This book examines the evolution and nature of cooperation and altruism in social-living animals, focusing especially on non-human primates and humans. It is derived from a conference held at Washington University, March, 2009.
social challenges when members of these recent birth cohorts mature and enter the breeding population (Strier et al., 2006; Strier & Mendes, In press). The 294 individuals in the study population (as of February 2010) are distributed among four mixedsex groups, all of which are confined to a forest fragment less than 1,000 ha in size. Although recent sightings of dispersing females from the study population are consistent with the increase in population density in the forest (Tabacow et al., 10
Sussman and Garber (2011) found that diurnal primates (lemurs, monkeys, and apes) devoted less than 10% of their daily activity budget to direct social interactions. The overwhelming majority of these interactions were affiliative and cooperative behaviors such as grooming, food sharing, huddling, and alliance formation. In contrast, aggression was rare and episodic, typically accounting for less than 1% of all social interactions. They concluded that cooperative and affiliative behaviors
and Garber). Cooperation and affiliation represent behavioral tactics that can be used by individual group members to obtain resources, maintain or enhance their social position, or increase their reproductive opportunities. Looking at physiological mechanisms that might relate to cooperative behavior, researchers have identified a set of neuroendocrine mechanisms in humans that may lead to cooperation among related and nonrelated individuals. In experiments using MRIs, mutual cooperation has
kill derived from our hunting past. We are no more born to be hunters than to be gardeners. We are no more inherent killers than we are angels. We are, for the most part, what we learn to be. 36 D. Hart and R.W. Sussman References Alderton, D. 1991. Crocodiles and Alligators of the World. Facts on File, New York. Angier, N. 1999. Illuminating how bodies are built for sociality. In: The Biological Basis of Human Behavior: A Critical Review, R. Sussman (ed.). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River,
attachments are necessary for primate survival. Social bonding and the manipulation of those bonds are characteristic of all gregarious primate societies: complex sociality is a core primate adaptation (Silk, 2007). Such relationships are traditionally examined via analyses of hierarchies, cooperative alliances, and long social histories among individuals. As such, understanding social cooperation is a major element in primate studies. Cooperation can be most generally defined as social