Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Social Dominance Reduces Fighting

  • Isaac LigockiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2516-1



In certain circumstances, the establishment of dominance relationships may reduce the frequency or intensity of agonistic interactions between individuals within the hierarchy.


Dominance relationships within groups typically revolve around access to resources such as food, shelter, and mating opportunities. More dominant individuals typically have greater access to these resources. In many cases, once established, dominance relationships enable individuals with differing dominance status to coexist relatively peacefully without the need for repeated agonistic encounters. While the extent to which conflict is reduced depends on the system and the context of conflict, familiarity with conspecifics does often seem to correlate with reduced aggression.

Main Text

Across animal taxa, organisms engage in conflict with one another for resources such as food, shelter, and mates. Success in such conflict...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jessica Hehman
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of RedlandsRedlandsUSA