Why are bystanders friendly to recipients of aggression?

Orlaith N. Fraser, Sonja E. Koski, Roman Martin Wittig, Filippo Aureli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The escalation of conflicts of interest into aggressive conflict can be costly in terms of increased post-conflict stress and damage to the opponents' relationship. Some costs may be mitigated through post-conflict interactions. One such type of interaction is affiliative contact from a bystander to the recipient of aggression. This type of interaction has been suggested to have a number of functions, including stress reduction and opponent relationship repair. It may also protect bystanders from redirected aggression from the original recipient of aggression. Here we review the evidence for such functions and propose a framework within which the function and occurrence of post-conflict affiliation directed from a bystander to the recipient of aggression is related to the quality of the relationships between the individuals involved and the patterns of of behavior expressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCommunicative & Integrative Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Why are bystanders friendly to recipients of aggression?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this