Van Vugt, M. (2013). On gazes, faces, votes and followers: Evolutionary and neuroscience approaches to leadership. In: J. Decety and Y. Christen. New frontiers in Social Neuoscience (pp. 93-110). Heidelberg: Springer. (IPSEN foundation).

pdf button

 

Abstract 

Leadership is arguably one of the most important themes in the social sciences, permeating all aspects of human social affairs, from the Euro zone crisis to the re-election of the first Black president in the US. Parallel findings across the biological and social sciences suggest that there are both commonalities and differences between humans and non-humans in leadership and followership. Here I propose a new theory of leadership inspired by an evolutionary perspective, and informed by recent findings in evolutionary biology, social, cognitive psychology, and social cognitive neuroscience. I will identify some of the evolved functions, developmental origins, and proximate mechanisms underlying leadership and followership in humans. In addition, I will suggest which aspects of leadership are unique and which are shared with other animals, and offer new ways of studying leadership and followership employing psychological and neuroscience methods.

Go To Top