Social status hierarchy represents a core dimension of interpersonal and intergroup relations across the animal kingdom. Biological mechanisms, such as neurotransmitter systems within neural networks, facilitate the perception, recognition, and expression of social dominance and submission between conspecifics during simple and complex social interactions. Neural systems of social status hierarchy are regulated by gene-by-environment interactions that vary across cultures, due to geographic variation in ecological pressures. Here we review the biological and cultural factors that shape social status hierarchy, primarily in humans. We discuss the implications of this research for understanding population disparities in health and education.
- Cultural neuroscience
- Dopamine neurotransmitter system
- Gene-by-environment interaction
- Serotonin neurotransmitter system
- Social status hierarchy
- Socioeconomic status (SES)
ASJC Scopus subject areas