ASP logo American Society of Primatologists
Home Page Education Conservation Research
Society Meetings Grants Links
Previous Page

Student Prize Award Abstract
1997 Oral Paper Award


Ann Ch.F. Weaver and Frans B.M. de Waal
Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322

Reconciliation is a mechanism of conflict control by which former opponents regulate the impact of conflict by making physical contact shortly after a fight. Its developmental trajectory is unknown. The current research is the first developmental study of post-conflict behavior. It investigates whether infantile reconciliation-type behavior occurs, and if and how it varies across development. Observational data were collected June 1994-1996 on 24 immature capuchins (recent research shows reconciliation occurs in this New World primate) ranging from 3 months to 6 years old. Focal animal samples of all-occurrences of social interactions were collected as baseline data (20 minutes duration; n=774). Ad libitum conflict samples (5 minutes duration; n=600) characterized aggressive episodes and post-conflict social interactions using immature victims as the focal animal. Data were evaluated by individual with the Post-Conflict/Matched-Controls (PC/MC) methodology for Corrected Conciliatory Tendencies (CCTs summarize proportions of attracted vs. dispersed pairs). Developmental stages (infancy, weaning and juvenescence) were individually determined by nursing frequencies. Analyses reveal that infantile reconciliation-type behavior occurs and that it varies across development. Immatures reconcile 37% (range 0-75%) of their conflicts. Former opponents contact each other sooner in post-conflict than in matched-control episodes. The nature of reconciliation-type behavior varies as a function of developmental stage and identity of the opponent.

Home | Education | Conservation | Research | Society | Meetings | Grants | Links