Dynamics in Human and Primate Societies

Nonlinear and Synthetic Models for Primate Societies

We explore some unorthodox models for studying primate societies as self-organized and, hence, nonlinear complex systems. The incentive is that the conventional rationalist-analytic approach often leads to superfluous and contrived explanations. This is due to the habit of seeking separate explanations for each observed phenomenon, the tendency to ascribe social patterns solely to cognitive or genetic qualities of individuals, and the use of short-sighted logic that yields naive predictions. These practices stem from the desire to produce testable predictions derived from a normative perspective, leading to a disregard of real world properties like nonlinear dynamics, the effects of numerous parallel interactions, and the importance of local spatial configurations.

The Evolution of Cooperation in an Ecological Context: An Agent-Based Model

“trait group selection”:

Under particular demographic conditions natural selection can favor traits that benefit group members as a whole, even when the bearers of these traits experience reduced reproductive success relative to other members of their group.

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