Advertisement

The Evolution of Human Emotions

  • Jonathan H. TurnerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Humans are, in essence, evolved apes carrying the genome that we shared our common ancestor with present-day great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans). Since the great apes are not highly social and, moreover, do not organize into permanent groups, it is likely that this low-level of sociality existed in humans’ common ancestor with the great apes, perhaps seven to 8 million years ago. It is argued that natural selection dramatically increased the hominin ancestors of human’s emotional capacities as a mechanism for getting around low sociality and lack of groups when these hominin ancestors were forced to begin living in open-country savanna conditions, where solidarity and groups would enhance fitness. Surprisingly, despite the many pro-social propensities evident in apes’ behavioral phenotype and underlying genotype, these were insufficient to increase sociality to the point of sustaining groups with high solidarity on the savanna. Hence, natural selection worked on the basic phenotype of hominins (and underlying genotype) to make them more emotional and, thereby, more social and group oriented. A methodology is outlined to test this basic hypothesis and is offered as a sociological alternative to either sociobiology or evolutionary psychology.

Keywords

Emotions Evolution Sociality Groups Apes Hominins Natural selection 

References

  1. Baizer, J. S., Baker, J. F., Haas, K., & Lima, R. (2007). Neurochemical organization of the nucleus paramedinaus dorsalis in the human. Brain Research, 1176, 45–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bickerton, D. (2003). Symbol and structure: A comprehensive framework for language evolution. In M. S. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution: The states of the art (pp. 77–93). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm, C. (2012). Moral origins: The evolution of virtue, altruism, and shame. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Bronson, S. F., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2003). Animal behaviour: Fair refusal by capuchin monkeys. Nature, 428, 128–140.Google Scholar
  5. Brosnan, S. F., Schiff, H. C., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2005). Tolerance for inequity may increase with social closeness in chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 272, 253–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cooley, C. H. (1902/1964). Human Nature and the SocialOrder. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
  7. Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cosmides, L. (1989). The logic of social exchange: Has natural selection shaped how humans reason? Cognition, 31, 187–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes’ error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: Putman.Google Scholar
  10. Durkheim, E. (1912/1947). The elementary forms of the religious Life. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  11. Durkheim, E. (1912/1965). The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. deWaal, F. B. M. (1989). Food sharing and reciprocal obligations among chimpanzees. Journal of Human Evolution, 18, 433–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. deWaal, F. B. M. (1991). The chimpanzee’s sense of social regularity and its relation to the human sense of justice. American Behavioral Scientist, 34, 335–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. deWaal, F. B. M. (1996). Good natured: the origins of right and wrong in humans and other animals. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. deWaal, F. B. M. (2009). The age of empathy: nature’s lessons for a kinder society. New York: Three Rivers Press.Google Scholar
  16. deWaal, F. B. M., & Brosnan, S. F. (2006). Simple and complex reciprocity in primates. In P. Kappeler & C. P. van Schaik (Eds.), Cooperation in primates and humans: mechanisms and evolution (pp. 85–106). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  17. Eccles, J. C. (1989). Evolution of the brain: Creation of self. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Ekman, P. (1984). Expression and the nature of emotion. In K. Scherer & P. Ekman (Eds.), Approaches to emotion (pp. 319–343). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Emde, R. N. (1962). Level of meaning for infant emotions: A biosocial view. In W. A. Collins (Ed.), Development of cognition, affect and social relations (pp. 1–37). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Enard, W., Przeworski, M., Fisher, S. E., Lai, C. S. L., Wiebe, V., Kitano, T., Monaco, A. P., & Paabo, S. (2002a). Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language. Nature, 418, 869–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Enard, W., Khaitovich, P., Klose, J., Zollner, S., Heissig, F., Giavalisco, P., Nieselt-Struwe, K., Muchmore, E., Varki, A., Ravid, R., Doxiadis, G. M., Bonttrop, R. E., & Paabo, S. (2002b). Intra-and interspecific variation in primate gene expression patterns. Science, 296, 340–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Franks, D. D., & Turner, J. H. (2012). Handbook of neurosociology. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Gallup, G. G. Jr. (1970). Chimpanzees: Self-recognition. Science, 167, 88–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gallup, G. G. Jr. (1979). Self-recognition in chimpanzees and man: A developmental and comparative perspective. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  25. Gallup, G. G. Jr. (1982). Self-awareness and the emergence of mind in primates. American Journal of Primatology, 2, 237–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gazzaniga, M S., & Smylie, C. S. (1990). Hemisphere mechanisms controlling voluntary and spontaneous mechanisms. Annual Review of Neurology, 13, 536–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gergely G., & Csibra, G. (2006). Sylvia’s recipe: The role of imitation and pedagogy. In N. J. Enfield & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), The transmission of cultural knowledge (pp. 229–255). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  28. Geschwind, N. (1965a). Disconnection syndromes in animals and man, part I. Brain, 88, 237–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Geschwind, N. (1965b). Disconnection syndromes in animals and man, part II. Brain, 88, 585–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Geschwind, N. (1965c). Disconnection syndromes in animals and man. Brain, 88, 237–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Geschwind, N. (1985). Implications for evolution, genetics, and clinical syndromes. In S. D. Glick (Eds.), Cerebral lateralization in non-human species (pp. 247–278). Orlando: Academic.Google Scholar
  32. Geschwind, N., & Damasio, A. (1984). The neural basis of language. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 7, 127–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual. Garden City: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  34. Hare, B., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2001). Do chimpanzees know what conspecifics know? Animal Behavior, 61, 139–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hare, B., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Chimpanzees deceive a human competitor by hiding. Cognition, 101: 495–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Horowitz, A. C. (2003). Do chimps ape? Or apes human? Imitation and intension in humans (Homo sapiens) and other animals. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 117, 325–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Itakura, S. (1996). An exploratory study of gaze-monitoring in non-human primates. Japanese Psychological Research, 38, 174–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jarvis, M. J., & Ettlinger, G. (1977). Cross-modal recognition in chimpanzees and monkeys. Neuropsychologia, 15, 499–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lawler, E. J. (2001). An affect theory of social exchange. American Journal of Sociology, 107, 321–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lawler, E. J., Thye, S., & Yoon, J. (2009). Social commitments in a depersonalized world. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Leslie. R. A., Johnson-Frey, S. H., & Grafton. S. T. (2004). Functional imaging of the face and hand imitation: Towards a motor theory of empathy. Neurolmage, 21, 601–607.Google Scholar
  42. Maryanski, A. (1986). African ape social structure: A comparative analysis. Ph. D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine.Google Scholar
  43. Maryanski, A. (1987). African ape social structure: Is there strength in weak ties? Social Networks, 9, 191–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maryanski, A. (1992). The last ancestor: An ecological-network model on the origins of human sociality. Advances in Human Ecology, 2, 1–32.Google Scholar
  45. Maryanski, A. (1993). The elementary forms of the first proto-human society: An ecological/social network approach. Advances in Human Evolution, 2, 215–241.Google Scholar
  46. Maryanski, A. (1995). African ape social networks: A blueprint for reconstructing early hominid social structure. In J. Steele & S. Shennan (Eds.), Archaeology of human ancestry (pp. 67–90). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Maryanski, A., & Turner, J. H. (1992). The social cage: Human nature and the evolution of society. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  49. Menzel, E. W. (1971). Communication about the environment in a group of young chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica, 15, 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mitani, J., & Watts, D. (2001). Why do chimpanzees hunt and share meat? Animal Behavior, 915–924.Google Scholar
  51. Mitani, J., & Watts, D. (2001). Why do chimpanzees hunt and share meat? Animal Behavior, 915–924.Google Scholar
  52. Okamoto, S., Tomonaga, M., Ishii, K., Kawai, N., Tanaka, M., & Matsuzawa, T. (2002). An infant chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) follows human gaze. Animal Cognition, 5, 107–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Passingham, R. E. (1973). Anatomical differences between the neocortex of man and the other primates. Brain Behavioral Evolution, 7, 337–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Passingham, R. E. (1975). Changes in the size and organisation of the brain in man and his ancestors. Brain and Behavior Evolution, 11, 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Passingham, R. E. (1982). The human primate. Oxford: Freeman.Google Scholar
  56. Povinelli, D. J. (2000). Folk physics for apes: The chimpanzee’s theory of how the world works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Povinelli, D. J., & Eddy, T. J. (1997). Specificity of gaze-following in young chimpanzees. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15, 213–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rizzolattti, G., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., & Gallese, V. (2002). From mirror neurons to imitation: Facts and speculations. In W. Prinz & A. N. Meltzoff (Eds.), The imitative mind: Development, evolution and brain bases (pp. 247–266). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Rumbaugh, D., & Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S. (1990). Chimpanzees: Competencies for language and numbers. In W. Stebbins & M. Berkley (Eds.), Comparative perception: Complex signals (Vol. 2, pp. 409–441). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  60. Savage-Rumbaugh, S., & Lewin, R. (1994). Kanzi: The ape at the brink of the human mind. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  61. Savage-Rumbaugh, S., Seveik, R. A., & Hopkins, W. D. (1988). Symbolic cross-model transfer in two species. Child Development, 59, 617–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Savage-Rumbaugh, S. E., Murphy, J., Seveik, R. A., Brakke, K. E., Williams, S. L., & Rumbaugh, D. M. (1993). Language comprehension in the ape and child. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 58, 1–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Semendeferi, K., Lu, A., Schenker, N., & Damasio, H. (2002). Humans and great apes share a large frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 5, 272–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sherwood, C. C. (2007). The evolution of neuron types and cortical histology in apes and humans. In T. M. Preuss & J. H. Kaas (Eds.), Evolution of nervous systems 4: The evolution of primate nervous systems (pp. 355–378). Oxford: Academic.Google Scholar
  65. Sherwood, C. C., Holloway, R. L., Erwin, J. M., & Hoff, P. R. (2004). Cortical orofacial motor representation in old world monkeys, great apes and humans. Brain Behavior and Evolution, 63, 82–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sherwood, C. C., Holloway, R. L., Semendeferi K., & Hof, P. R. (2005). Is prefrontal white matter enlargement a human evolutionary specialization? Nature Neuroscience, 8, 537–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sherwood, C. C., Subiaul, F., & Zawidzki, T. W. (2008). A natural history of the human mind: Tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition. Journal of Anatomy, 212, 426–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Spencer, B., & Gillen, F. (1899). The nature tribes of central Australia. New York: Macmillan and Co.Google Scholar
  69. Stanford, C. (1999). Great apes and early hominids: Reconstructing ancestral behavior. In P. Dolhinow, & A. Fuentes (Eds.), The nonhuman primates. (pp.1–37), London: Mayfield Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  70. Stephan, H. (1983). Evolutionary trends in limbic structures. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 7, 367–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stephan, H., & Andy, O. J. (1969). Quantitative comparative neuroanatomy of primates: An attempt at phylogenetic interpretation. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 167, 370–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stephan, H., & Andy, O. J. (1977). Quantitative comparison of the amygdala in insectivores and primates. Acta Antomica, 98, 130–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stephan, H., Baron, G., & Frahm, H. (1986). Comparative size of brains and brain components. In H. Steklis & J. Erwin (Eds.), Comparative primate biology, (Vol. 4, pp. 1–37). New York: Alan Liss.Google Scholar
  74. Stephen, H., Frahm, H., & Baron, G. (1981). New and revised data on volumes of brain structures in insectivores and primates. Folia Primatoligica, 35, 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Subiaul, F. (2007). The imitation faculty in monkeys: Evaluating its features, distribution, and evolution. Journal of Anthropological Science, 85, 35–62.Google Scholar
  76. Tomasello, M., & Call, J. (1997). Primate cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Tomasello, M., Hare, B., & Fogleman, T. (2001). The ontogeny of gaze folling in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, and rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta. Animal Behavior, 61, 335–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tomonaga, M. (1999). Attending to the others’ attention in macaques’ joint attention or not? Primate Research, 15, 425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Turner, J. H. (1996a). The evolution of emotions in humans: A Darwinian-Durkheimian analysis. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 26, 1–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Turner, J. H. (1996b). Cognition, emotion, and interaction in the big-brained primate. Contemporary Studies in Sociology, 13, 297–318.Google Scholar
  81. Turner, J. H. (1996c). Toward a general sociological theory of emotions. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 29, 132–162.Google Scholar
  82. Turner, J. H. (1997). The evolution of emotions: The nonverbal basis of human social organization. In U. Segerstrale & P. Molnar (Eds.), Nonverbal communication: Where nature meets culture (pp. 211–228). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  83. Turner, J. H. (1998). The evolution of moral systems. Critical Review, 11, 211–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Turner, J. H. (1999). The neurology of emotions: Implications for sociological theories of interpersonal behavior. Social Perspectives on Emotion, 5, 81–108.Google Scholar
  85. Turner, J. H. (2000). On the origins of human emotions: A sociological inquiry into the evolution of human affect. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Turner, J. H. (2002). Face to face: Toward a theory of interpersonal behavior. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Turner, J. H. (2007). Human emotions: A sociological theory. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  88. Turner, J. H. (2010a). Theoretical principles of sociology, volume 2 on microdynamics. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  89. Turner, J. H. (2010b). Theoretical principles of sociology, volume 1 on macrodynamics. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  90. Turner, J. H., & Maryanski A. (2005). Incest: Origins of the taboo. Boulder: Paradigm.Google Scholar
  91. Turner, J. H., & Maryanski A. (2008). On the origins of societies by natural selection. Boulder: Paradigm.Google Scholar
  92. Turner, J. H., & Maryanski, A. (2012). The biology and nuerology of group processes. Advances in Group Processes, 26, 1–38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

Personalised recommendations