Originally published in 1988, this book outlines a new evolutionary paradigm for understanding human society and mental structure, originating from the editor's work in primate ethology. It is supported and further elaborated by the contributors. Chance argues that two modes of social interaction, the agonic and hedonic, underlie social life and corresponding mentality.
In the agonic mode we are concerned with self-security and our attention is much taken up with being accepted by a group. This mode is based on a recently discovered state of inhibited (braked) mental arousal. Social behaviour is either authoritarian or authority subservient, and has a tendency to control or be controlled. It curbs intelligence and restricts personality development.
In the hedonic mode we are freer to form a network of personal relationships that are typically mutually supportive. The hedonic mode leads to the development of self-confidence and a relaxed empathic and collaborative personality with intelligence enhanced.
The volume will still be of interest to all concerned with human affairs including those working in ethology, primatology, anthropology, social psychology, psychiatry and political sociology.