Review Close social associations in animals and humans: functions and mechanisms of friendship Jorg J.M. Massen 1,4) , Elisabeth H.M. Sterck 1,2) & Henk de Vos 3) ( 1 Department of Behavioural Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2 Department of Ethology Research, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Rijswijk, The Netherlands; 3 Department of Sociology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands) (Accepted: 1 August 2010) Summary Both humans and group-living animals associate and behave affiliatively more with some in- dividuals than others. Human friendship has long been acknowledged, and recently scientists studying animal behaviour have started using the term friendship for close social associates in animals. Yet, while biologists describe friends as social tools to enhance fitness, social scientists describe human friendship as unconditional. We investigate whether these different descriptions reflect true differences in human friendship and animal close social associations or are a by-product of different research approaches: namely social scientists focussing on proximate and biologists on ultimate explanations. We first stress the importance of similar measures to determine close social associations, thereafter examine their ultimate benefits and proximate motivations, and discuss the latest findings on the central-neural regulation of social bonds. We conclude
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: FRIENDSHIP; RELATIONSHIP QUALITY; CLOSE SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS; RECIPROCAL ALTRUISM; COOPERATION; SOCIAL BENEFITS
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