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HW4 Q1A - intellect and increases the likelihood of...

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Megan Emrick ANT F301 Homework 4 - #1 Many explanations exist concerning the evolution of primate intelligence. According to the Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis, sociality among primates serves to further the intelligence of individuals who acquire the skill necessary to endure in such an environment. Continued existence in this context requires the cognitive ability to form beneficial relationships and make self-protective choices. If such intellect is developed, then the individual is more likely to survive, reproduce and establish fitness. Another idea states that the primate’s need to work for food acts as a catalyst for developing complex extraction techniques and enhanced memory capabilities. This, in turn, fosters the development of greater
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Unformatted text preview: intellect and increases the likelihood of survival. Much like the aforementioned theories, Van Schaik also identifies the social lifestyle as a main contributor to primate intelligence. However, he places emphasis on the social learning process as a part of primate culture that most profoundly affects the evolution of intelligence. In his article “Why are some animals so smart,” the author suggests that closer proximity among members of a primate group ultimately provides more opportunity for individual innovation, observation and learning. Thus, Van Schaik’s theory links deeper social connectedness with greater intelligence in primates....
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