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As is the case with wood frogs, these two different behavioral strategies in humans seem to each have the capacity to lead to success. Under some conditions, an all-out selfish approach leads to success in life—largely via tactics such as intimidation and bullying. In other conditions, a genuinely other-oriented approach has the capacity to boost one's social reputation and open the door for all kinds of success in life.
In other words, across evolutionary time, nature has selected both selfish and other-oriented approaches to dealing with others in life.
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Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.
In recent years, work in the field of personality psychology has found that there are reliable and measurable individual differences in terms of the degree to which people tend to employ a dark strategy when it comes to dealing with others versus a light strategy in deal...
Human behavior is complex—people utilize a broad suite of behavioral strategies in their efforts to succeed in life. Based on the principle of strategic pluralism, it turns out that multiple—and often wildly different—strategies have the capacity to lead to successful outcomes.
The same goes with humans when it comes to broad social strategies in terms of how we treat others. People vary from one another in terms of how truly other-oriented versus how dispositionally selfish they are.
In the human experience, there are multiple pathways to...
When you have a challenge and the response is equal to the challenge, that's called success. But once you have a new challenge, the old, once-successful response no longer works. That's why it is called a failure.
Some male wood frogs find success in the mating market by having large bodies and effectively attracting female wood frogs with their deep calls, while other (often smaller) male wood frogs find themselves successfully mating via an alternative route: by hiding in the bushes near a large male woo...
As is found in so many life forms, humans seem to demonstrate something called strategic pluralism when it comes to patterns of behavior. In short, strategic pluralism speaks to the fact that there is often a plurality of strategies that can lead to success in all kinds of contex...
From this perspective, we can think of two broad paths to success in life. A selfish approach to life, for better or worse, can have its merits when it comes to success. History is full of all kinds of figures who found success by moving simply toward their own selfish goals.
Think about different kinds of leaders for a minute. Ever notice that leadership styles vary dramatically? Some leaders seem to genuinely come across as caring about the broader people whom they represent—and they seem trustworthy, altruistic, and kind. On the other hand, some leaders seem kind o...
Knowing all this, when it comes to the strategy that works best for you in life, realize that there are choices to be made. Sure, a self-serving approach to life might lead to all kinds of success, but it often does so at a cost to the welfare of others.
On the other hand...
Via eons of evolutionary pressures, both strategies have made it into the human behavioral repertoire. In large part, the strategy that you utilize as you navigate the obstacles of life is up to you.
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We humans have evolved a broad suite of social strategies that solve all kinds of adaptive problems. Some of us succeed by sheer and ruthless selfishness, while others succeed by gaining reputations as truly compassionate and caring for others. Success, for better or worse, is not final. Neither is it ultimate.
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