'Decision-making' in conflicts of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): an extension of the Relational Model

Roman Martin Wittig, C Boesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the 'decision-making' process of aggressive interactions within a community of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Tai National Park, Cote d'Ivoire (West Africa). Costs and benefits were investigated for 876 dyadic aggressive interactions among 18 adults (including 4 independent adolescents) of either sex. An extended version of the Relational Model was developed to describe the dynamics of the 'decision-making' process in Tai chimpanzees, which suggests that the net benefit determines the occurrence of conflicts. Both sexes fought more frequently for the resources that were most important to them, food for females and social contexts for males. Individuals used two different strategies according to their likelihood of winning the aggressive interaction, determined by the dominance relationship of the conflict partners. Dominant initiators had longer and more intense aggressive interactions, but they limited their social disadvantages by fighting non-cooperative partners. Subordinate initiators had shorter and less intense aggressive interactions, but risked more social costs, which they could reduce afterwards by reconciliation. Both strategies included a positive overall net benefit. The extended Relational Model fits the complexity of wild chimpanzee conflicts and allows for more flexibility in the 'decision-making' compared to the original version.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003

Keywords

  • Extended Relational Model
  • conflict management
  • likelihood of winning
  • aggressive interactions
  • chimpanzees
  • LONG-TAILED MACAQUES
  • DOMINANCE HIERARCHIES
  • FOOD COMPETITION
  • MOUNTAIN GOATS
  • RECONCILIATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • AGGRESSION
  • PRIMATES
  • RANK
  • SCHWEINFURTHII

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