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Post-conflict affiliation by chimpanzees with aggressors: other-oriented versus selfish political strategy.

Romero T, Castellanos MA, de Waal FB - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Contrary to consolation behavior, it was provided most often by adult males and directed toward high ranking males, whereas females engaged less often in this behavior both as actors and recipients, suggesting that affiliation with aggressors is unlikely to be a reaction to the distress of others.We propose that bystander affiliation toward aggressors may function to strengthen bonds between valuable partners, probably as part of political strategies.Our findings also suggest that this post-conflict behavior may act as an alternative to reconciliation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation between opponents, in that it is more common when opponents fail to reconcile.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. tromero@darwin.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp

ABSTRACT
Consolation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation directed from bystanders to recent victims of aggression, has recently acquired an important role in the debate about empathy in great apes. Although similar contacts have been also described for aggressors, i.e., appeasement, they have received far less attention and their function and underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. An exceptionally large database of spontaneous conflict and post-conflict interactions in two outdoor-housed groups of chimpanzees lends support to the notion that affiliation toward aggressors reduces the latter's aggressive tendencies in that further aggression was less frequent after the occurrence of the affiliation. However, bystander affiliation toward aggressors occurred disproportionally between individuals that were socially close (i.e., affiliation partners) which suggest that it did not function to protect the actor itself against redirected aggression. Contrary to consolation behavior, it was provided most often by adult males and directed toward high ranking males, whereas females engaged less often in this behavior both as actors and recipients, suggesting that affiliation with aggressors is unlikely to be a reaction to the distress of others. We propose that bystander affiliation toward aggressors may function to strengthen bonds between valuable partners, probably as part of political strategies. Our findings also suggest that this post-conflict behavior may act as an alternative to reconciliation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation between opponents, in that it is more common when opponents fail to reconcile.

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Bystander affiliation rate in relation to bystander's sex and affiliation level between bystanders and aggressors.Post-conflict bystander affiliation rate was calculated as the number of affiliations corrected by the total number of opportunities to receive affiliation. Bars represent mean post-conflict affiliation rates ±95% confidence intervals.
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pone-0022173-g001: Bystander affiliation rate in relation to bystander's sex and affiliation level between bystanders and aggressors.Post-conflict bystander affiliation rate was calculated as the number of affiliations corrected by the total number of opportunities to receive affiliation. Bars represent mean post-conflict affiliation rates ±95% confidence intervals.

Mentions: We investigated how relational variables between bystander and aggressor, and bystander and victim determined the occurrence of third-party appeasement by running GLMM. While none of the victim's variables affected the occurrence of appeasement, the affiliative relation between bystander and aggressor and the interaction between affiliation level and bystander's sex remained significant in the best model (Table 1). Appeasement was directed more often at individuals with whom the bystander had a strong affiliative tie (strong vs. no-strong affiliation: ß = 0.578, p<0.001, Table 1). Furthermore, aggressors were more likely to be contacted by male than female close social partners (interaction between affiliation level and bystander's sex, Figure 1, Table 1).


Post-conflict affiliation by chimpanzees with aggressors: other-oriented versus selfish political strategy.

Romero T, Castellanos MA, de Waal FB - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bystander affiliation rate in relation to bystander's sex and affiliation level between bystanders and aggressors.Post-conflict bystander affiliation rate was calculated as the number of affiliations corrected by the total number of opportunities to receive affiliation. Bars represent mean post-conflict affiliation rates ±95% confidence intervals.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3140506&req=5

pone-0022173-g001: Bystander affiliation rate in relation to bystander's sex and affiliation level between bystanders and aggressors.Post-conflict bystander affiliation rate was calculated as the number of affiliations corrected by the total number of opportunities to receive affiliation. Bars represent mean post-conflict affiliation rates ±95% confidence intervals.
Mentions: We investigated how relational variables between bystander and aggressor, and bystander and victim determined the occurrence of third-party appeasement by running GLMM. While none of the victim's variables affected the occurrence of appeasement, the affiliative relation between bystander and aggressor and the interaction between affiliation level and bystander's sex remained significant in the best model (Table 1). Appeasement was directed more often at individuals with whom the bystander had a strong affiliative tie (strong vs. no-strong affiliation: ß = 0.578, p<0.001, Table 1). Furthermore, aggressors were more likely to be contacted by male than female close social partners (interaction between affiliation level and bystander's sex, Figure 1, Table 1).

Bottom Line: Contrary to consolation behavior, it was provided most often by adult males and directed toward high ranking males, whereas females engaged less often in this behavior both as actors and recipients, suggesting that affiliation with aggressors is unlikely to be a reaction to the distress of others.We propose that bystander affiliation toward aggressors may function to strengthen bonds between valuable partners, probably as part of political strategies.Our findings also suggest that this post-conflict behavior may act as an alternative to reconciliation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation between opponents, in that it is more common when opponents fail to reconcile.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. tromero@darwin.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp

ABSTRACT
Consolation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation directed from bystanders to recent victims of aggression, has recently acquired an important role in the debate about empathy in great apes. Although similar contacts have been also described for aggressors, i.e., appeasement, they have received far less attention and their function and underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. An exceptionally large database of spontaneous conflict and post-conflict interactions in two outdoor-housed groups of chimpanzees lends support to the notion that affiliation toward aggressors reduces the latter's aggressive tendencies in that further aggression was less frequent after the occurrence of the affiliation. However, bystander affiliation toward aggressors occurred disproportionally between individuals that were socially close (i.e., affiliation partners) which suggest that it did not function to protect the actor itself against redirected aggression. Contrary to consolation behavior, it was provided most often by adult males and directed toward high ranking males, whereas females engaged less often in this behavior both as actors and recipients, suggesting that affiliation with aggressors is unlikely to be a reaction to the distress of others. We propose that bystander affiliation toward aggressors may function to strengthen bonds between valuable partners, probably as part of political strategies. Our findings also suggest that this post-conflict behavior may act as an alternative to reconciliation, i.e., post-conflict affiliation between opponents, in that it is more common when opponents fail to reconcile.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus