Games Primates Play

Games Primates Play

An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships

Book - 2012
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Most humans don't realize that when they exchange emails with someone, anyone, they are actually exhibiting certain unspoken rules about dominance and hierarchy. The same rules regulate the exchange of grooming behavior in rhesus macaques or chimpanzees. Interestingly, some of the major aspects of human nature have profound commonalities with our ape ancestors: the violence of war, the intensity of love, the need to live together.While we often assume that our behavior in everyday situations reflects our unique personalities, the choices we freely make, or the influences of our environment, we rarely consider that others behave in these situations in almost the exact the same way as we do. In Games Primates Play , primatologist Dario Maestripieri examines the curious unspoken customs that govern our behavior. These patterns and customs appear to be motivated by free will, yet they are so similar from person to person, and across species, that they reveal much more than our selected choices.

Games Primates Play uncovers our evolutionary legacy: the subtle codes that govern our behavior are the result of millions of years of evolution, predating the emergence of modern humans. To understand the rules that govern primate games and our social interactions, Maestripieri arms readers with knowledge of the scientific principles that ethologists, psychologists, economists, and other behavioral scientists have discovered in their quest to unravel the complexities of behavior. As he realizes, everything from how we write emails to how we make love is determined by the legacy of our primate roots and the conditions that existed so long ago.

An idiosyncratic and witty approach to our deep and complex origins, Games Primates Play reveals the ways in which our primate nature drives so much of our lives.

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2012.
ISBN: 9780465020782
Branch Call Number: 155.7 MAESTRI
Characteristics: xviii, 302 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Oct 17, 2013

I have used techniques learned from this book's observations of monkey communities to negotiate Board meetings . . . no joke.

srmechs Jun 22, 2013

A readable and very interesting account of the sources of much of human social behavior

Poisonivy Jun 13, 2012

Provides analogies of behaviours of our closest primate relatives and the human equivalent. It turns out we are not above biology despite what most people believe. One just has to look to our more hairy counterparts.


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