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Serotonin and Dominance


Dominant; Serotoninergic system; Serotonin transporter; Social dominance structure; Social hierarchy


Dominance describes high status of an individual in social hierarchy that allows for priority access to limited resources such as food, mates, and space. Serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter, contributes to the formation of social hierarchy and positively affects dominance in humans and other primates.


Social hierarchy is a key element in the organization of many human and nonhuman groups that undertake collective and cooperative activities. Dominant group members standing at the top of the hierarchy are privileged with various benefits including priority access to limited resources (food, mates, space) over the subordinate members. In order to maintain their position, dominant individuals exercise behavioral tactics that rely on subtle interplay between cooperation, affiliation, and aggression directed toward subordinates. In contrast, submission,...


  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
  • Serotonin Transporter
  • Dominance Hierarchy
  • Social Hierarchy
  • Short Allele

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Ziomkiewicz-Wichary, A. (2016). Serotonin and Dominance. In: Weekes-Shackelford, V., Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.

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