Abstract # 13344 Event # 49:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: (Room 325) Oral Presentation


SHORT-TERM GROOMING TIME MATCHING: DO METHODOLOGICAL DISTINCTIONS MATTER?

E. S. Dunayer1, K. N. Balasubramaniam2 and C. M. Berman1
1University at Buffalo, SUNY, Department of Anthropology, 380 MFAC Ellicott Complex, North Campus, Buffalo, NY, USA, 2Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
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     Primatologists have long focused on grooming exchanges to examine aspects of social relationships. One particular interest is the extent to which reciprocating grooming partners time match, and the time frame over which they do so. Conclusions about time matching vary across species. Generally, researchers focus on the duration of pauses between grooming episodes that involve a switch in partner roles and choose a cut-off point to distinguish short from longer term reciprocation. Problematically, researchers have made inconsistent choices about cut-offs. Such methodological variations are potentially concerning, as it is unclear whether inconsistent conclusions about short-term time matching are attributable to species/ecological differences, or are due partly to methodological inconsistency. We ask whether various criteria for distinguishing short vs long-term reciprocation influence conclusions about short-term time matching using grooming exchanges (N=95 interactions) from free-ranging rhesus (Macaca mulatta). We compare several commonly used cut-offs to ones generated by the currently preferred approach—survival analysis. While most cut-offs yielded similar degrees of time matching as the one derived from survival analysis (90s), very short ones (10s) significantly underestimated the degree of time matching (p=0.003) and the influence of rank distance (p=0.028) on time matching. Although researchers may have some flexibility in their choice of cut-offs, we suggest that they employ caution by using survival analysis when possible, and when not possible, by avoiding very short time windows.