Primates and Humans

An examination of the validity of studying primate models to understand development of human behavior.

Primates and humans share a lot of common behaviors, such as care of their young, reactions to stressful situations, and shyness, and are believed to show many similar emotions. The evolution of human behavior is studied by anthropologists who often try to piece it together by looking at primate models. This paper will look at the validity of such studies as ways to gain an understanding into the development of human behavior.

Scientists at the Laboratory of Clinical Studies in Poolesville, Maryland are studying the qualities which distinguish primate leaders from minions, incline females to prefer some males over others, and cause some monkeys to be ejected from a troop (Segell, 1996). The study has shown that the dominant males are not necessarily the most aggressive ones. Rule is usually be consensus rather than fiat, and their main…