Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Men like power more than they admit

Photo of male chimpanzees by Frans de Waal

Emory primatologist Frans de Waal has a new blog in Psychology Today called "Monkey on my Shoulder." Following is an excerpt from a recent post:

"The power dimension is totally underestimated and neglected by the social sciences. We all know that it exists, but there is remarkably little serious research on it. I challenge you to find much on power, dominance, or social hierarchy in any social psychology textbook. If it is mentioned at all, it's usually in negative terms, such as 'power abuse.' Even political candidates prefer to tout their interest in education, health care, fiscal responsibility, but have you ever heard one of them say 'I love power' as the reason why they are entering the mudslinging arena? It is a total taboo.

"The vertical dimension of social life is blindingly obvious in every primate society, however. Chimpanzee form coalitions specifically for this purpose: to overthrow the leader."

Read more.

The bi-polar ape, in love and war
Ape murder-suicide leads to human drama
A brainy time traveler

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