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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Developing a Comprehensive Social Psychology with Shared Explanations of Primate Social Behavior

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Two primate social psychologies have developed in recent decades—one that focuses on the social behaviors of humans and the other on nonhuman primates. Despite the gains in knowledge in each field of social psychology, the two research traditions seem to be largely unaware of the other’s existence. Our common evolutionary ancestry makes this ignorance about the “other” social psychology especially troublesome for both fields. This article explores possible points of mutual interest that might lead to shared explanations of social behavior. In particular, I discuss how the topics of sexual behavior, cooperation and conflict resolution, and culture could benefit both social psychologies with respect to theory and methodology.

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