Evidence from many species suggests that social, developmental, and cognitive variables are important influences on aggression. Few direct activational or organizational effects of hormones on aggression and dominance are found in nonhuman primates. Female aggression and dominance are relatively frequent and occur with low testosterone levels. Social, cultural, and developmental mechanisms have more important influences on dominance and aggression than hormones.
Top-down models typically used to explain social behavior involve specific adaptations and higher level cognition. The Pavlovian conditioning model proposed can be extended to explain formation of dominance hierarchies and group structure, can replace a pheromonal model of reproductive suppression, and can be applied to language learning. This bottom-up approach based on general learning principles is a refreshing alternative to top-down models.