â€˜What rhesus macaques and humans may have in common is that many of their psychological and behavioural dispositions have been shaped by intense competition between individuals and groups during the evolutionary history of these speciesâ€™ Maestripieri said. Rhesus groups can function like armies, and this may explain why these monkeys have been so successful in the competition with other primates. Pressure to find Machiavellian solutions to social problems may also have led to the evolution of larger human brains.
â€˜Our Machiavellian intelligence is not something we can be proud of, but it may be the secret of our success. If it contributed to the evolution of our large brains and complex cognitive skills, it also contributed to the evolution of our ability to engage in noble spiritual and intellectual activities, including our love and compassion for other people,â€™ Maestripieri said.