Human Evolution

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 75-90

First online:

Dominance-seeking strategies in primates: an evolutionary perspective

  • Jo LiskaAffiliated withCommunication and a Research, Indiana University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The thesis advanced in this paper is that there are basic social influence strategies and attendant principles that are characteristic of social primates. A model for analyzing and comparing social influence strategies in primates, with particular attention to dominance-seeking strategies, is advanced. The utility of the model is illustrated by reference to studies of social influence strategies in baboons, chimpanzees, and humans. Emphasis is placed on the role of communication as the vehicle for social competence. Speculation is offered about the importance of the evolution of symbolic communication in expanding the repertoire of dominance-seeking strategies in human primates.

Key words

Dominance primate and communication