The missing link: Leadership, identity, and the social brain


Mark van Vugt, Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, room 1B-57 van der Boechorsstraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands (e-mail:


How the cohesion of a social network is being maintained in spite of having different layers of social interaction is an important question. I argue that the evolution of both (political) hierarchy and social identity play a crucial role in scaling up and bonding social networks. Together they are missing links in the social brain hypothesis, and further research is needed to understand the functions of leadership and social identity.