In more ways than we may sometimes care to acknowledge, the human being is just another primate—it is certainly only very rarely that researchers into cognition, emotion, personality, and behavior in our species and in other primates come together to compare notes and share insights. This book, one of the few comprehensive attempts at integrating behavioral research into human and nonhuman primates, does precisely that—and in doing so, offers a clear, in-depth look at the mutually enlightening work being done in psychology and primatology.
Relying on theories of behavior derived from psychology rather than ecology or biological anthropology, the authors, internationally known experts in primatology and psychology, focus primarily on social processes in areas including aggression, conflict resolution, sexuality, attachment, parenting, social development and affiliation, cognitive development, social cognition, personality, emotions, vocal and nonvocal communication, cognitive neuroscience, and psychopathology. They show nonhuman primates to be far more complex, cognitively and emotionally, than was once supposed, with provocative implications for our understanding of supposedly unique human characteristics. Arguing that both human and nonhuman primates are distinctive for their wide range of context-sensitive behaviors, their work makes a powerful case for the future integration of human and primate behavioral research.