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Volume 9, Pages 588-605
Review Article

An Evolutionary Perspective on the Importance of Community Relations for Quality of Life

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

Received 30 March 2009; Revised 5 June 2009; Accepted 12 June 2009

Academic Editor: Daniel T. L. Shek

Copyright © 2009 Bjørn Grinde.


The evolutionary perspective is relevant for the study of quality of life in that the brain, including its capacity for positive and negative states of mind, has been shaped by the forces of evolution. The present text uses this perspective to discuss three questions related to the observation that human interactions are a particular important factor for well-being: (1) What is known about the inherent nature of our social propensities? (2) Is the present situation responsible for a suboptimal quality of life? (3) Are there alternatives to the organization of mainstream Western society? Based on this discussion, the question is raised as to whether it is possible to suggest improvements. Briefly, it seems possible to create conditions that enhance social relations and to the extent that happiness is considered an important objective, this is a relevant endeavor.