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Student Prize Award Abstract
2003 Poster Paper Honorable Mention


N. A. DeBolt1 and P. G. Judge1,2
1Program in Animal Behavior, Bucknell University, , Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA, 2Department of Psychology, Bucknell University

Reconciliation can be defined as affiliative interaction between former opponents following conflict. Kin typically reconcile more than nonkin, presumably to preserve their strong relationships. Reconciliation was examined in a one-male group of hamadryas baboons (n=15) to test whether relationship strength among opponents influenced the likelihood of reconciliation regardless of kinship. Specifically, nonkin with strong relationships as measured by affiliation frequencies were predicted to reconcile more than nonkin with weak relationships. Affiliative contact between two opponents during 5-minute post-conflict intervals was compared to that during matched-control intervals lacking aggression between opponents. 322 conflicts were recorded (mean per subject=21.5) and a test on all members of the group showed that affiliation was significantly higher after conflicts than during control periods (Wilcoxon signed-ranks test: p<0.01) with a conciliatory tendency of 33.5%. Subjects with both strong and weak relationships reconciled (strong: p<0.01; weak: p<0.01); however, subjects with strong relationships had significantly higher conciliatory tendencies (42.4%) than those with weak relationships (18.6%) (p<.05). Among subjects with strong relationships, both kin and nonkin reconciled (kin: p<0.05; nonkin: p<0.01) and their conciliatory tendencies were not significantly different (kin=37.1%, nonkin=51.2%; p>0.05). Finally, nonkin with strong relationships had significantly higher conciliatory tendencies (52.1%) than nonkin with weak relationships (30.5%; p<0.05). Results indicate that hamadryas baboons reconcile and that relationship strength influences reconciliation as much as or more so than kinship in this species.

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