A practical guide to the study of social relationships

Joan Silk, Dorothy Cheney, Robert Seyfarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behavioral ecologists have devoted considerable effort to identifying the sources of variation in individual reproductive success. Much of this work has focused on the characteristics of individuals, such as their sex and rank. However, many animals live in stable social groups and the fitness of individuals depends at least in part on the outcome of their interactions with other group members. For example, in many primate species, high dominance rank enhances access to resources and reproductive success. The ability to acquire and maintain high rank often depends on the availability and effectiveness of coalitionary support. Allies may be cultivated and coalitions may be reinforced by affiliative interactions such as grooming, food sharing, and tolerance. These findings suggest that if we want to understand the selective pressures that shape the social behavior of primates, it will be profitable to broaden our focus from the characteristics of individuals to the properties of the relationships that they form with others. The goal of this paper is to discuss a set of methods that can be used to quantify the properties of social relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalEvolutionary Anthropology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

interaction
social behavior
fitness
allies
group membership
tolerance
coalition
animal
food
ability
resources

Keywords

  • Behavioral analysis
  • Dyadic relationships
  • Methods
  • Observational methods
  • Social bonds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

Cite this

A practical guide to the study of social relationships. / Silk, Joan; Cheney, Dorothy; Seyfarth, Robert.

In: Evolutionary Anthropology, Vol. 22, No. 5, 09.2013, p. 213-225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Silk, Joan ; Cheney, Dorothy ; Seyfarth, Robert. / A practical guide to the study of social relationships. In: Evolutionary Anthropology. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 5. pp. 213-225.
@article{39c70f91fdff4d8b9eaed9d251fe0a63,
title = "A practical guide to the study of social relationships",
abstract = "Behavioral ecologists have devoted considerable effort to identifying the sources of variation in individual reproductive success. Much of this work has focused on the characteristics of individuals, such as their sex and rank. However, many animals live in stable social groups and the fitness of individuals depends at least in part on the outcome of their interactions with other group members. For example, in many primate species, high dominance rank enhances access to resources and reproductive success. The ability to acquire and maintain high rank often depends on the availability and effectiveness of coalitionary support. Allies may be cultivated and coalitions may be reinforced by affiliative interactions such as grooming, food sharing, and tolerance. These findings suggest that if we want to understand the selective pressures that shape the social behavior of primates, it will be profitable to broaden our focus from the characteristics of individuals to the properties of the relationships that they form with others. The goal of this paper is to discuss a set of methods that can be used to quantify the properties of social relationships.",
keywords = "Behavioral analysis, Dyadic relationships, Methods, Observational methods, Social bonds",
author = "Joan Silk and Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth",
year = "2013",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1002/evan.21367",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "22",
pages = "213--225",
journal = "Evolutionary Anthropology",
issn = "1060-1538",
publisher = "Wiley-Liss Inc.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A practical guide to the study of social relationships

AU - Silk, Joan

AU - Cheney, Dorothy

AU - Seyfarth, Robert

PY - 2013/9

Y1 - 2013/9

N2 - Behavioral ecologists have devoted considerable effort to identifying the sources of variation in individual reproductive success. Much of this work has focused on the characteristics of individuals, such as their sex and rank. However, many animals live in stable social groups and the fitness of individuals depends at least in part on the outcome of their interactions with other group members. For example, in many primate species, high dominance rank enhances access to resources and reproductive success. The ability to acquire and maintain high rank often depends on the availability and effectiveness of coalitionary support. Allies may be cultivated and coalitions may be reinforced by affiliative interactions such as grooming, food sharing, and tolerance. These findings suggest that if we want to understand the selective pressures that shape the social behavior of primates, it will be profitable to broaden our focus from the characteristics of individuals to the properties of the relationships that they form with others. The goal of this paper is to discuss a set of methods that can be used to quantify the properties of social relationships.

AB - Behavioral ecologists have devoted considerable effort to identifying the sources of variation in individual reproductive success. Much of this work has focused on the characteristics of individuals, such as their sex and rank. However, many animals live in stable social groups and the fitness of individuals depends at least in part on the outcome of their interactions with other group members. For example, in many primate species, high dominance rank enhances access to resources and reproductive success. The ability to acquire and maintain high rank often depends on the availability and effectiveness of coalitionary support. Allies may be cultivated and coalitions may be reinforced by affiliative interactions such as grooming, food sharing, and tolerance. These findings suggest that if we want to understand the selective pressures that shape the social behavior of primates, it will be profitable to broaden our focus from the characteristics of individuals to the properties of the relationships that they form with others. The goal of this paper is to discuss a set of methods that can be used to quantify the properties of social relationships.

KW - Behavioral analysis

KW - Dyadic relationships

KW - Methods

KW - Observational methods

KW - Social bonds

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84886562935&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84886562935&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/evan.21367

DO - 10.1002/evan.21367

M3 - Article

C2 - 24166922

AN - SCOPUS:84886562935

VL - 22

SP - 213

EP - 225

JO - Evolutionary Anthropology

JF - Evolutionary Anthropology

SN - 1060-1538

IS - 5

ER -