Abstract # 38:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


BUILDING A REPUTATION FOR SUCCESS: HOW INDIVIDUALS BECOME KEY POLICERS IN RHESUS MACAQUE SOCIETY

B. A. Beisner1,2, M. E. Jackson1, S. K. Seil1, A. Cameron1, E. R. Atwill3 and B. McCowan1,3
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, 3Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616
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     Policers (those who intervene frequently and successfully) are important to group stability, but how individuals become policers remains unknown. We hypothesized that individuals incrementally acquire social power and build a reputation of being a policer if a prior successful intervention increases the likelihood of subsequent success, and that the mechanism by which this occurs is via change in group perception of the intervener (as measured by changes in group behavior toward the intervener after success). Using multi-level generalized linear models to analyze 4,174 interventions from 7 groups, we found that previous intervention success increased the probability of subsequent success. This effect was largest when the two successes occurred the same day. Furthermore, successful interveners receive more unsolicited SBTs than unsuccessful interveners, particularly those with two consecutive successes the same day, suggesting that group members perceive the intervener as having greater power. Furthermore, successful interveners did not appear to capitalize on their success to reinforce or increase rank, as they did not increase use of severe aggression. In sum, these results indicate that the most successful interveners will be those that intervene again soon after a previous success, thereby increasing their chances of subsequent success. Multiple consecutive successful interventions allow individuals to build a powerful ‘reputation’ by changing the group’s perception of their competitive abilities. And frequent successful intervention is the definition of policers.