The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Primate Health

Departments of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, MC 5020, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 05/2005; 308(5722):648-52. DOI: 10.1126/science.1106477
Source: PubMed


Dominance hierarchies occur in numerous social species, and rank within them can greatly influence the quality of life of an animal. In this review, I consider how rank can also influence physiology and health. I first consider whether it is high- or low-ranking animals that are most stressed in a dominance hierarchy; this turns out to vary as a function of the social organization in different species and populations. I then review how the stressful characteristics of social rank have adverse adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological consequences. Finally, I consider how these findings apply to the human realm of health, disease, and socioeconomic status.

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    • "Una primera explicación del impacto negativo en el bienestar y salud es el efecto directo de la pertenencia a clases sociales bajas. En estudios del efecto psicológico del bajo estatus social en primates no humanos (Sapolsky, 2005) y en humanos (Ng & Diener, 2014), se ha encontrado un efecto negativo en la salud y el bienestar. Las clases bajas tienen peor salud física, mental, menor balanza afectiva y bienestar eudaimónico (Cooper, McCausland, y Theodossiou, 2013; Myers & Diener, 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: Este capítulo revisa la relación entre desigualdad y bienestar. Se describe y contrasta la sensibilidad de los indices de inequidad Gini y Palma, siendo ambos similares. Se describen los estudios y argumentaciones que plantean que la desigualdad se asocia a más problemas de salud y sociales, porque implica que mayor cantidad de personas vivan en condiciones sociales negativas, porque aumenta la comparación social negativa, privación relativa, ira, ansiedad y malestar, y porque socava la cohesión social. Se revisan los estudios que encuentran relación débil o positiva al controlar la riqueza nacional entre desigualdad y bienestar, y que argumentan que la desigualdad se asocia a mayor cultura individualista de libertad y autonomía personal o perspectiva de movilidad social. Un estudio colectivo con 77 naciones examina la relación entre desigualdad e IDH, indicadores de cohesión social, de percepción de libertad, de valores y prácticas individualistas-colectivistas y bienestar. Correlaciones parciales, regresión y análisis de mediación muestran que la desigualdad se asocia a mayor bienestar, controlando la riqueza. La desigualdad se asocia a menor riqueza, peor calidad de vida, negativa pero no significativamente a menor cohesión, positivamente a mayor libertad, y negativamente a individualismo cultural. Se concluye que la desigualdad, una vez controlada la riqueza ya que se asocia a menores ingresos nacionales, se vincula a mayor bienestar, por reforzar la percepción de libertad y pese a reforzar prácticas y valores colectivistas. Los valores individualistas refuerzan el bienestar, probablemente por menor nepotismo endogrupal y mayor libertad, aunque no porque se den en sociedades más desiguales.
    La felicidad de los chilenos: estudios sobre bienestar. Volumen II., Edited by Andrés Mendiburo, Juan Carlos Oyanedel, Darío Páez, 01/2016; RIL Editores.
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    • "During periods of hierarchy instability, this profile is seen among dominant animals [68]. Salivary biomarkers provide a non-invasive way to evaluate the stress response. "
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    ABSTRACT: According to the coping styles hypothesis, an individual demonstrates an integrated behavioural and physiological response to environmental challenge that is consistent over time and across situations. Individual consistency in behavioural responses to challenge has been documented across the animal kingdom. Comparatively few studies, however, have examined inter-individual variation in the physiological response, namely glucocorticoid and catecholamine levels, the stress hormones secreted by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system, respectively. Variation in coping styles between individuals may be explained in part by differences in social rank and sex. Using 20 Yucatan minipigs (Sus scrofa) we: (1) investigated the existence of consistent inter-individual variation in exploratory behaviour and the hormonal stress response, and tested for correlations as predicted by the coping styles hypothesis; and (2) evaluated whether inter-individual behavioural and hormonal variation is related to social rank and sex. Salivary stress biomarkers (cortisol, alpha-amylase, chromogranin A) were assessed in the presence and absence of a stressor consisting of social isolation in a crate for 10min. Principal components analysis on a set of behavioural variables revealed two traits, which we labelled exploratory tendency and neophobia. Neither exploratory tendency nor neophobia predicted the physiological stress response. Subordinate pigs exhibited higher catecholamine levels compared to dominant conspecifics. We observed sex differences in the repeatability of salivary stress markers and reactivity of the stress systems. The results do not provide support for the existence of behavioural-physiological coping styles in pigs. Sex is an important determinant of the physiological stress response and warrants consideration in research addressing behavioural and hormonal variation.
    Physiology & Behavior 10/2015; 152. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.09.033 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    • "Another way that power may reduce loneliness is through buffering against social stressors. Physiological research on primates and humans has shown that power is related to increased testosterone, a hormone that buffers threat (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010; Sapolsky, 2005) and lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress (Abbott et al., 2003; Carney et al., 2010; Coe, Mendoza, & Levine, 1979; Sapolsky, 1982; Sapolsky, Alberts, & Altmann, 1997; Sherman et al., 2012). Multiple studies have found that the powerful experience less distress, cortisol reactivity, and physiological arousal in the face of socially stressful situations (Carney et al., 2015; Kuehn, Chen, & Gordon, 2015; Schmid & Schmid Mast, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Eight studies found a robust negative relationship between the experience of power and the experience of loneliness. Dispositional power and loneliness were negatively correlated (Study 1). Experimental inductions established causality: we manipulated high versus low power through autobiographical essays, assignment to positions, or control over resources, and found that each manipulation showed that high versus low power decreased loneliness (Studies 2a–2c). We also demonstrated both that low power can increase loneliness and that high power can decrease loneliness by comparing these conditions to a baseline condition (Studies 3–4, 6). Furthermore, we establish a key mechanism that explains this effect, demonstrating that the need to belong mediates the effect of power on loneliness (Studies 5–6). These findings help explain some effects of power on social cognition, offer insights into organizational well-being and motivation, and speak to the fundamental question of whether it is “lonely at the top” or lonelier at the bottom.
    Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 09/2015; 130. DOI:10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.06.002 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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