Social and Cultural Animals

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Differences between Social and Cultural Animals

There are multiple clues that decipher the differences between a social animal and a cultural animal. Some of these differences are shown in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, and community. (Baumeister and Bushman 47-54)

First, in the area of communication, social animals do communicate with each other, but often this is done in the form of sounds, smells or specific movements. Some examples of this are the release of pheromones to send messages to others. Pheromones play an important part in reproduction and other social behavior. They are used by many animals, including insects, wolves, deer, and even humans! Another example of this communication is shown in Bees. The scout bee will dance when he has found nectar and direct the other bees to his location. Cultural animals on the other hand have a different method of communication in the form of spoken language. They are able to talk to each other and specifically tell the other what they are thinking.

The next area in which there are differences is in conflict resolution. The social animal typically handles conflicts with others by expiating aggression. This is seen when there are two alpha males that want the same thing. The resolution of this conflict is usually that one of them is either dead or wounded to the point where they probably won’t make it. The cultural animal on the other hand typically has many alternatives that can be used to resolve the conflict at hand. Because of the added benefit of culture, these animals are able to think through the conflict and weigh out the consequences and benefits of their actions and make a judgment on their next action. The culture’s ethics and morals standards are also weighed in the decisions.

The last area of differences is in the way they each perceive community. The social animal usually only sees those in their group, pack, pride, colony, etc. as their community and only worries about...
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