|Author||Gavrilets, Sergey ♦ Duenez-Guzman, Edgar A. ♦ Vose, Michael D.|
|Date of Submission||2008-09-01|
|Subject Domain (in DDC)||Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Life sciences; biology|
|Subject Keyword||Quantitative Biology - Populations and Evolution ♦ q-bio|
|Abstract||Arguably the most influential force in human history is the formation of social coalitions and alliances (i.e., long-lasting coalitions) and their impact on individual power. In most great ape species, coalitions occur at individual and group levels and among both kin and non-kin. Nonetheless, ape societies remain essentially hierarchical, and coalitions rarely weaken social inequality. In contrast, human hunter-gatherers show a remarkable tendency to egalitarianism, and human coalitions and alliances occur not only among individuals and groups, but also among groups of groups. Here, we develop a stochastic model describing the emergence of networks of allies resulting from within-group competition for status or mates between individuals utilizing dyadic information. The model shows that alliances often emerge in a phase transition-like fashion if the group size, awareness, aggressiveness, and persuasiveness of individuals are large and the decay rate of individual affinities is small. With cultural inheritance of social networks, a single leveling alliance including all group members can emerge in several generations. Our results suggest that a rapid transition from a hierarchical society of great apes to an egalitarian society of hunter-gatherers (often referred to as "egalitarian revolution") could indeed follow an increase in human cognitive abilities. The establishment of stable group-wide egalitarian alliances creates conditions promoting the origin of cultural norms favoring the group interests over those of individuals.|
|Learning Resource Type||Article|
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