Life at № 42
“Chimpanzee politics can be intricate, but they always obey the rules of social dominance. Because chimps and humans evolved from a common ancestor going back 5-7m years, we humans know deep in our brains what social dominance is all about. Our expectation that social status can be seized through physical power and threat – that the strongest, biggest and boldest may indeed lord it over the rest of us – is very old, awesomely intuitive, and deeply ingrained.
Social psychologists today distinguish between the social dominance form of human leadership, on the one hand, and leadership through prestige on the other. Both are grounded in human evolution, but the prestige form is younger, tracing back a mere million years or so to the time when our hominid ancestors began to form culture. In the prestige paradigm, leaders attain their authority in the group by demonstrating culturally valued expertise – as, for example, in cooking, defending the tribe, healing, peacemaking, or (in the modern world) science, education, technology, the arts, business, law, medicine, communication, and so on.”
Very interesting article.