Self-awareness and the evolution of social intelligence

Behav Processes. 1998 Feb;42(2-3):239-47. doi: 10.1016/s0376-6357(97)00079-x.


The use of one's own experience as a model to make inferences about the experiences of others is theorized to be the means by which a variety of introspectively based social strategies developed for both competing and cooperating with one another (e.g. gratitude, grudging, sympathy, empathy, deception, pretending and sorrow). The proposition that this ability is a byproduct of self-awareness is developed in some detail and the predictions which follow from this model of social intelligence are considered in light of the evidence.