So, they put a group in a large Interesting book. So, they put a group in a large enclosure. However, the group was not taken as a whole from one place, and was originally all female until they added a few adult males. To make observations easier, the enclosure had fewer trees and such than in nature that would limit viewing. So, this book is based on an artificial setting and group, and is not even an overview of multiple artificial settings and groups. As a result, the book is an important starting point for understanding chimps, but should not be treated as the best and fullest scientific understanding we can achieve.

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Apart from political maneuvering, chimpanzees show many behaviors that parallel those of humans, from tool technology to intercommunity warfare. In fact, our place among the primates is increasingly a backdrop of substantial similarity. Our uniqueness breaks down as we study our relatives. Being over the hill themselves, these experienced men often exploit the intense rivalries among younger politicians, gaining tremendous power as a result. I also did not draw explicit parallels between how rival chimpanzees curry favor with females by grooming and tickling their young and the way human politicians hold up and kiss babies, something they rarely do outside the election season.

There are tons of such parallels, also in nonverbal communication the swaggering, the lowering of voices , but I stayed away from all these. To me, they were so obvious I am happy to leave them to my readers…The social dynamics are essentially the same.

The will to power is a human universal. Our species has been engaged in Machiavellian tactics since the dawn of time, which is why no one should be surprised about the evolutionary connection pointed out in the present book.

They act in exactly the opposite way from the young teacher, who held forth with such conviction. Both attitudes lead nowhere, but unfortunately I will not be able to avoid them completely.

This is a constantly recurring problem when new students arrive. Someone who knows nothing about chess and who watches a game between two players will not be aware of the tension on the board. Even if the watcher stays for an hour, he or she will still have great difficult in accurately reproducing the state of play on another board.

A grand master, on the other hand, would grasp and memorize the position of every piece in one concentrated glance of a few seconds. This is not a difference of memory, but of perception. Whereas to the uninitiated the positions of the chess pieces are unrelated, the initiated attach great significance to them and see how they threaten and cover each other. It is easier to remember something with a structure than a chaotic jumble. This is the synthesizing principle of the so-called Gestalt perception: the whole, or Gestalt, is more than the sum of its parts.

Learning to perceive is learning to recognize the patterns in which the components regularly occur. Once we are familiar with the patterns of interactions between chess pieces or chimpanzees, they seem so striking and obvious that it is difficult to imagine how other people can get bogged down in all kinds of detail and miss the essential logic of the maneuvers.

They had to physically connect to make up and tension and hesitancy remains as long as the opponents had not reconciled their differences. This action serves to repair valuable relationships Coalitions — when two apes fight or threaten each other, a third ape may enter the fray and side with one of them.

Sometimes this escalates and larger coalitions are formed. However, this does not cascade — chimpanzees never make an uncalculated move and the top position in a group may depend on aggressive cooperation highest form of strategy, dominance and, often, it was the females who were the most important part of helping their chosen male get into the position of alpha Social Intelligence Hypothesis Chimps developed such high intelligence in order to deal with an increasingly complex group life.

Alpha reacts to this by standing taller and making his hair stand on end which makes the contrast even greater Dominance manifests in two different ways — social influence power, who can defeat whom and who weighs in most heavily when a conflict in the group occurs and formal dominance ones actual rank within the colony Physical strength is only one factor and almost certainly not the critical one in determining dominance relationships A leader who hesitates in defending his proteges might very well have problems defending himself Tantrums are indicative of the beginning of the end but familiarity breeds contempt.

Tantrums which are thrown too often are ignored Tend to think that the outcome of a fight determines the social relationship, whereas here the outcome was determined by the social relationship.

The same was seen in later dominance processes. The prevailing social climate affected the self-confidence of the rivals. It was as if their effectiveness depended on the attitude of the group rather like a soccer team playing better at home than away. Must have the backing and support of the females or else your power is fragile Chimps overcome basic competitive tendencies more than other animals and achieve a high degree of cooperation.

They cooperate in order to create a common front against the neighbors — the psyche is one of both competition and compromise and this is what makes chimp society so much more recognizable to us than the social structure of the other great apes Chimpanzee males avoid looking at each other in moments of tension, challenge, and intimidation. In moments of reconciliation, on the other hand, they look each other straight and deep in the eyes.

Once the opponents are finally looking at each other, first hesitantly but then more steadily, the reconciliation will not be far away. This third party was always one of the adult females After a fight, contact and conciliation is so important than the winner can blackmail the loser.

The winner refuses to have anything to do with the loser until he has received some respectful grunts A stable hierarchy is a great sign of peace and harmony in the group but only partially ensure peace in the social system. Hierarchical stability cannot be equated with stagnation and monotony, dominance must constantly be proven Red Queen Effect Loser-supporters: a third individual who intervenes in a conflict on the side of the party who would otherwise have lost Young males of superior fighting ability cannot usurp power without the support of a sizable portion of a group.

You have to have the group buy-in and back you — can never do it alone The chimps have incredible awareness of their social cues. During one of the fights, both sides were bluffing about how brave they were and could be seen holding their hands in front of their mouths so that nobody could see them bearing their teeth a sign of fear, excitement, nervousness In all the time studying the apes, the researchers never once witnessed a conflict between the two highest ranking females Key for stability within a hierarchy to have the top women on the same page?

They cannot risk getting upset and losing the support of the females Sex The formation of territories is one way of demarcating procreational rights; the formation of a hierarchy is another. There is a definite link between power and sex; no social organization can be properly understood without knowledge of the sexual rules and the way the progeny are cared for.

Even the proverbial cornerstone of our society, the family, is essentially a sexual and reproductive unit. By keeping other males away from her, a male increases the certainty that he will be the father of the child. Consequently, children will more often be sired by jealous than by tolerant males.

If jealousy is hereditary, and that is what the theory assumes, more and more children will be born with this characteristic, and later they in turn will attempt to exclude other members of the same sex from the reproductive act. Whereas the males fight for the right to fertilize as many females as possible, the situation for the females is totally different.

Whether she copulates with one or one hundred males, it will not alter the number of children she will give birth to. Jealousy among females is therefore less marked. Female competition occurs almost exclusively in pair-bonded species, such as many birds and a few mammals, such as humans.

Men get most upset at the thought of their wife or girlfriend having sex with another man, women dislike most the thought that their husband or boyfriend actually loves another woman, regardless of whether or not sex has occurred. Because women look at these things from the perspective of relationships, they are more concerned about a possible emotional tie between their mate and another woman If a female does not want to mate, it is usually over.

Persistent males run the risk of being chased by the female they approached and some of the other females too. The term triadic awareness refers to the capacity to perceive social relationships between others so as to form varied triangular relationships.

For example, Luit knows that Yeroen and Nikkie are allies, so he will not provoke conflicts with Yeroen when Nikkie is nearby, but he is much less reluctant to do so when he meets Yeroen alone. What is special about this kind of knowledge is that an individual is not only aware of his or her relationships with everyone in the group, but also monitors and evaluates relationships that exist in the social environment so as to gain an understanding of how the self relates to combinations of other individuals.

Elementary forms of three-dimensional group life are found in many birds and mammals, but primates are undoubtedly supreme in this respect. Mediation with a view to reconciliation, separating interventions, telling tales, and coalitions would all be inconceivable without triadic awareness If any of this sounds simple, it is because triadic awareness is second nature to human beings, and we find it hard to imagine a society without it Dependence on third parties plays such a prominent role in the chimpanzee hierarchy that the basic relationships are completely overshadowed.

This is not only true for the complex balance of power in the male triangle. A small child, for example, may chase away a full-grown male.

Among males coalitions determine dominance. The male dominance over the females is largely determined by their physical superiority. Among females it is above all personality and age that seem to be the determining factors.

Conflicts between females are so rare and the outcome is so unpredictable that they cannot be used as a criterion for determining rank. The female hierarchy in our chimpanzee group seems to be based on respect from below rather than intimidation and a show of strength from above Perhaps why it is so stable and powerful — get buy in and respect from the bottom Our understanding of ape hierarchies is further complicated by the fact that there is a third type of dominance that exists alongside formal dominance and power.

For example, when the alpha male places a car tire on one of the drums in the indoor hall with the intention of lying down on it, one of the females may push him away and sit down herself. Females also remove objects, sometimes even food, from the hands of the males without meeting with any resistance They have things to offer that cannot be taken by force, such as sexual and political favors, and their silent diplomacy, which helps to calm tempers.

The result is a power equilibrium in which all nations hold influential positions. The hankering for power itself is almost certainly inborn. The question now is, how do chimpanzees achieve their ambitions? This too may be hereditary. Experience is needed to use innate social tendencies as a means to an end in the same way that a young bird born with wings to fly needs months of practice before it has mastered the art.

In the case of political strategies, experience can play a role in two ways: directly, during the social processes themselves, or through the projection of old experiences into the future Sympathy is related to intimacy and familiarity Sharing For the adult male, the amount that he himself possesses is not important.

What matters is who does the distributing among the group. However, this only applies to incidental, extra food. Main meals and hunger can cause chimpanzee males to quarrel violently, as the Holloman colony showed. Females, on the other hand, tend to share mainly with their own children and best friends and do not get into quarrels with other group members. Taking food by force is extremely rare in our colony; sharing is something apes learn young Their control rests on giving. They give protection to anyone who is threatened and receive respect and support in return.

Also among humans the borderline between material and social generosity is scarcely distinguishable. Observations of human children by the psychologists Harvey Ginsburg and Shirley Miller have demonstrated that the most dominant children not only intervene in playground fights to protect losers but also are more willing to share with classmates.

The investigators suggest that this behavior helps a child to command high status among peers. Similarly, we know from anthropological studies of pre-literate tribes that the chief exercises an economic role comparable to the control role: he gives and receives. He is rich but does not exploit his people, because he gives huge feasts and helps the needy. The gifts and goods he receives flow back into the community.

A chief who tries to keep everything for himself puts his position in jeopardy. Give more than you receive in every manner Reciprocation The influence of the recent past is always overestimated. When we are asked to name the greatest human inventions we tend to think of the telephone, the electric light bulb, and the silicon chip rather than the wheel, the plough, and the taming of fire. Similarly the origins of modern society are sought in the advent of agriculture, trade, and industry, whereas in fact our social history is a thousand times older than these phenomena.

It has been suggested that food sharing was a strong stimulus in furthering the evolution of our tendency to reciprocal relations. Would it not be more logical to assume that social reciprocity existed earlier and that tangible exchanges such as food sharing stem from this phenomenon? There are indications of reciprocity in the nonmaterial behaviors of chimps. It is interesting that reciprocity occurs in both the negative and the positive sense. In this way he repaid a negative action with another negative action.

We regularly see this mechanism in operation before the group separates for the night. This is the time when differences are squared, no matter when these differences may have arisen.

For example, one morning a conflict breaks out between Mama and Oor. Oor rushes to Nikkie and with wild gestures and exaggeratedly loud screams persuades him to attack her powerful opponent. Nikkie attacks Mama, and Oor wins. That evening, however, a good six hours later, we hear the sound of a scuffle in the sleeping quarters.


Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes



Chimpanzee politics



Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes by Frans de Waal




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