Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

History of Dominance Theory

  • Vincent BarnettEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3852-1

Synonyms

Definition

Dominance theory in ethology is concerned with how dominance hierarchies develop and function within human and animal societies in relation to the operation and maintenance of social status, behavioral strategies for survival and reproduction, and gaining preferential access to resources in competitive social situations.

Introduction

This entry will start with a history of dominance theory in ethology, before documenting the history of the understandings of socially stratified relations as they have been developed in some other subjects such as sociology and philosophy. It will then consider component concepts of Denise Cummins’ more recent account of dominance hierarchies in more detail, as it was developed as part of the wider evolutionary psychology paradigm.

In terms of a definition, a dominance hierarchy, otherwise known more colloquially as a pecking order or a rank order, is simply a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Todd K. Shackelford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA