UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Mechanisms of reciprocity in primates: testing for short-term contingency of grooming and food sharing in bonobos and chimpanzees


Jaeggi, A V; De Groot, E; Stevens, J M G; van Schaik, C P (2013). Mechanisms of reciprocity in primates: testing for short-term contingency of grooming and food sharing in bonobos and chimpanzees. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(2):69-77.

Abstract

Much of the debate about reciprocity in humans and other primates hinges on proximate mechanisms, or more precisely, the contingency of one service on another. While there is good evidence for long-term statistical contingencies of services given and received in primates, results for short-term behavioral contingencies are mixed. Indeed, as we show here controlled experiments using artificial tasks and explicit turn-taking were unlikely to find short-term effects. We therefore used more naturalistic experiments to test for short-term contingencies of grooming on food sharing and vice versa in one group of chimpanzees and two groups of bonobos. Overall, we found significant effects of grooming on food sharing and vice versa, however, in the chimpanzees these effects disappeared when controlling for long-term characteristics of the dyad including services exchanged over the whole study period. In the bonobos, short-term contingencies remained significant which was likely a consequence of considerable tension surrounding monopolizable food resulting in higher rates of grooming and other affiliative behaviors around sharing sessions. These results are consistent with the fact that previous evidence for short-term contingency often involved grooming and that long-term contingency is more commonly observed in primates. We propose that long-term contingency is proximately regulated by a ‘relationship score’ computed through a tally of past interactions which tend to outweigh recent single events. We therefore suggest that future research into the proximate mechanisms of reciprocity should trace the development of such a score by focusing on newly formed dyads with no history of interactions.

Much of the debate about reciprocity in humans and other primates hinges on proximate mechanisms, or more precisely, the contingency of one service on another. While there is good evidence for long-term statistical contingencies of services given and received in primates, results for short-term behavioral contingencies are mixed. Indeed, as we show here controlled experiments using artificial tasks and explicit turn-taking were unlikely to find short-term effects. We therefore used more naturalistic experiments to test for short-term contingencies of grooming on food sharing and vice versa in one group of chimpanzees and two groups of bonobos. Overall, we found significant effects of grooming on food sharing and vice versa, however, in the chimpanzees these effects disappeared when controlling for long-term characteristics of the dyad including services exchanged over the whole study period. In the bonobos, short-term contingencies remained significant which was likely a consequence of considerable tension surrounding monopolizable food resulting in higher rates of grooming and other affiliative behaviors around sharing sessions. These results are consistent with the fact that previous evidence for short-term contingency often involved grooming and that long-term contingency is more commonly observed in primates. We propose that long-term contingency is proximately regulated by a ‘relationship score’ computed through a tally of past interactions which tend to outweigh recent single events. We therefore suggest that future research into the proximate mechanisms of reciprocity should trace the development of such a score by focusing on newly formed dyads with no history of interactions.

Citations

23 citations in Web of Science®
23 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

90 downloads since deposited on 04 Mar 2013
18 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:March 2013
Deposited On:04 Mar 2013 13:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:35
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1090-5138
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.09.005
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-74873

Download

[img]
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 349kB
View at publisher
[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 709kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations