Natural Conflict Resolution

By Filippo Aureli; Frans B. M. De Waal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Beyond the Primates
Expanding the Reconciliation Horizon
Gabriele Schino

Female squirrel Leftie spots male Corners approaching the site where she is feeding and immediately charges him. The male flees and zips into a nestbox. Ninety seconds later, Leftie climbs to sit on top of the box into which Corners disappeared and begins uttering soft, chirping calls. Corners can be heard calling antiphonally back out to Leftie, and soon his face is visible in the nestbox entrance. The two squirrels continue to exchange vocalizations for 40 seconds more. Then, Leftie bends over the top of the nestbox, “kisses” the male, and proceeds calmly away.

M. E. Pereira & J. Smith, unpublished observation

This beautiful description of an episode of possible reconciliation in eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) exemplifies the state of our knowledge on conflict resolution in non-primates: sparse (although insightful) observations, but very little quantitative data.


A Failure of Scientific Communication

The first paper that dealt explicitly with reconciliation (i.e., a friendly reunion between former opponents) was published by de Waal & van Roosmalen in 1979. It soon appeared evident that reconciliation was a widespread phenomenon. Primatologists confirmed the existence of conciliatory mechanisms in one primate species after the other, from apes to lemurs (Appendix A).

In the 20 years that have elapsed since publication of the first paper on reconciliation, several authors (always primatologists) have suggested that reconciliation should be expected to occur also in non-primate species (e.g., de Waal 1986; Cords & Thurnheer 1993). The rest of the scientific community, however, did not respond to such suggestions, and we had to wait until 1993 to see the first papers that explicitly mentioned reconciliation in non-primates (East et al. 1993; Rowell & Rowell 1993) and 1998 for the first paper that actually presented data on post-conflict affiliation in a nonprimate (Schino 1998).

We may wonder about the reasons underlying this reluctance of nonprimatologists to tackle the issue of conflict resolution and relationship repair while among primatologists such research was flourishing.

-225-

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Natural Conflict Resolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Why Natural Conflict Resolution? 3
  • References *
  • Part I - History 11
  • Introduction 13
  • Chapter 2 - Foundations of Conflict Resolution Research in Animals 15
  • References *
  • Chapter 3 - Conflict Management in Children and Adolescents 34
  • References *
  • Chapter 4 - Searching for Natural Conflict Resolution in Homo Sapiens 54
  • References *
  • Part II - Controlling Aggression 71
  • Introduction 73
  • Chapter 5 - Conflict Management in Various Social Settings 77
  • References *
  • Chapter 6 - Covariation of Conflict Management Patterns Across Macaque Species 106
  • References *
  • Chapter 7 - Coping with Crowded Conditions 129
  • References *
  • Chapter 8 - The Peacefulness of Cooperatively Breeding Primates 155
  • References *
  • Part III - Repairing the Damage 171
  • Introduction 173
  • Chapter 9 - Reconciliation and Relationship Qualities 177
  • References 196
  • Chapter 10 - The Role of Emotion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution 199
  • References 219
  • Chapter 11 - Expanding the Reconciliation Horizon 225
  • References *
  • Chapter 12 - A Multicultural View of Peacemaking Among Young Children 243
  • References *
  • Part IV - Triadic Affairs 259
  • Introduction 261
  • Chapter 13 - Post-Conflict Affiliation of the Aggressor 263
  • References *
  • Chapter 14 - How Targets of Aggression Interact with Bystanders 281
  • References *
  • Part V - Ecological and Cultural Contexts 303
  • Introduction 305
  • Chapter 15 - The Natural History of Valuable Relationships in Primates 307
  • References 327
  • Chapter 16 - Conflict Management in Cross-Cultural Perspective 334
  • References *
  • Chapter 17 - The Evolution and Development of Morality 352
  • References *
  • Conclusion 373
  • Chapter 18 - Shared Principles and Unanswered Questions 375
  • Appendixes 381
  • Appendix A - The Occurrence of Reconciliation in Nonhuman Primates 383
  • References *
  • Appendix B - Key Terms Used in the Volume 387
  • References *
  • Contributors 389
  • Index 391
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