Sociology Mind

Volume 8, Issue 4 (October 2018)

ISSN Print: 2160-083X   ISSN Online: 2160-0848

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.85  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Anticipation and Exploration of Nature and the Social World: Natural-History versus Social-Cognition Theories of the Evolution of Human Intelligence

HTML  XML Download Download as PDF (Size: 371KB)  PP. 320-344  
DOI: 10.4236/sm.2018.84021    539 Downloads   1,169 Views  Citations

ABSTRACT

The social-cognition or social-brain theory of human intelligence holds that it is the competitive, hierarchical nature of human society that provided the field of relationality that has fueled the extraordinary development of the human brain and mind. We argue that competitive, agonic society has, in both primates and humans, retarded the development of adaptive intelligence, as evidenced by impressive ethological evidence from primate research. The other kind of sociality, affiliative and hedonic, frees individuals from preoccupation with social hierarchy, but does not motivate anticipatory, goal-seeking behavior. Thus, neither agonic nor hedonic social relations account for human brain evolution, which can rather be attributed to focus on goal-seeking in the natural-history environment, where attention is directed toward exploration, manipulation and utilization of objects, phenomena, and resources. We review ethological evidence from primate and human studies, consider the distinction between fluid intelligence and executive-level functioning, and conclude that the natural-history model appears most consistent with available evidence. Anticipation is described as a primary emotion that develops very early in life, with territoriality as its underlying dimension, and with an elaborate seeking system as its brain infrastructure.

Share and Cite:

TenHouten, W. D. (2018) Anticipation and Exploration of Nature and the Social World: Natural-History versus Social-Cognition Theories of the Evolution of Human Intelligence. Sociology Mind, 8, 320-344. doi: 10.4236/sm.2018.84021.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.