The Duality of Human Nature: Coercion and Prosociality in Youths’ Hierarchy Ascension and Social Success

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Abstract

In the present article, I argue for a shift in perspective regarding aggression, prosociality, and social affinity. Psychological approaches construe antisociality and prosociality as serving opposing functions. In contrast, I here consider them to serve the same function and to form the behavioral foundation of human status striving as early as the preschool years. Children who have mastered both coercive and prosocial tactics show themselves to be socially competent, materially successful, and socially attractive. I compare models in psychology derived from the field of medicine with models stemming from evolutionary theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2014

Keywords

  • child development
  • evolution
  • popularity
  • power
  • social dominance
  • status

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