Conflict resolution following aggression in gregarious animals: a predictive framework

Aureli, Filippo and Cords, Marina and van Shaik, Carel P. (2002) Conflict resolution following aggression in gregarious animals: a predictive framework. Animal behaviour, 64 (3). pp. 325-343. ISSN 1095-8282

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2002.3071

Abstract

Knowledge of how animals manage their conflicts is critical for understanding the dynamics of social systems. During the last two decades research on gregarious animals, especially primates, has focused on the mechanisms of conflict management, mainly on friendly postconflict reunions (also called ‘reconciliation’) in which former opponents exchange affiliative behaviour soon after an aggressive conflict. Our aim in this paper is to present a framework in which the costs and benefits of friendly postconflict reunions, both for each individual opponent and for their mutual relationship, are used to predict the patterning of postconflict resolution mechanisms in other gregarious animals. The framework predicts the occurrence of postconflict reunions in species that live in stable social units, have individualized relationships, and experience postconflict hostility, but especially in those in which intragroup aggression disrupts valuable relationships. The critical issue is whether aggressive conflicts occur between cooperative partners and whether the level of aggression is sufficient to jeopardize the benefits associated with such valuable relationships. We conclude by proposing four research priorities to evaluate the role of friendly reunions in negotiating relationships and the way they are themselves influenced by asymmetries in partner value and biological market effects.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Knowledge of how animals manage their conflicts is critical for understanding the dynamics of social systems. During the last two decades research on gregarious animals, especially primates, has focused on the mechanisms of conflict management, mainly on friendly postconflict reunions (also called ‘reconciliation’) in which former opponents exchange affiliative behaviour soon after an aggressive conflict. Our aim in this paper is to present a framework in which the costs and benefits of friendly postconflict reunions, both for each individual opponent and for their mutual relationship, are used to predict the patterning of postconflict resolution mechanisms in other gregarious animals. The framework predicts the occurrence of postconflict reunions in species that live in stable social units, have individualized relationships, and experience postconflict hostility, but especially in those in which intragroup aggression disrupts valuable relationships. The critical issue is whether aggressive conflicts occur between cooperative partners and whether the level of aggression is sufficient to jeopardize the benefits associated with such valuable relationships. We conclude by proposing four research priorities to evaluate the role of friendly reunions in negotiating relationships and the way they are themselves influenced by asymmetries in partner value and biological market effects.
Keywords:Conflict resolution, aggression in animals
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:761
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:13 Jul 2007
Last Modified:22 Feb 2010 15:14

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