Social Coercion Theory and the Evolution of Human Violence

Some scientists argue that human uniqueness is the result of two primary features: one, that we are a powerful species, and two, that we gained our power rapidly. In this clip from the 2015 World Science Festival program “Planet of the Humans: The Leap to the Top,” molecular biologist Paul Bingham attempts to account for both of these features through an approach known as “social coercion theory,” which posits that humans control the conflicts of interest among non-kin to engage in large-scale social cooperation.

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