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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997 Jan 15;807:317-28.

Conflict resolution and distress alleviation in monkeys and apes.

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Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Research on nonhuman primates has produced compelling evidence for reconciliation and consolation, that is, postconflict contacts that serve to respectively repair social relationships and reassure distressed individuals, such as victims of attack. This has led to a view of conflict and conflict resolution as an integrated part of social relationships, hence determined by social factors and modifiable by the social environment. Implications of this new model of social conflict are discussed along with evidence for behavioral flexibility, the value of cooperation, and the possibility that distress alleviation rests on empathy, a capacity that may be present in chimpanzees and humans but not in most other animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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