Calming an aggressor through spontaneous post-conflict triadic contacts: Appeasement in Macaca tonkeana

Peaceful third-party interventions usually occur after an aggressive encounter and can be directed toward the victim or the aggressor. Macaca tonkeana, a cercopithecine species characterized by high levels of tolerance, frequently engage in consolatory contacts, which both calm the victim and reduce the probability of further attacks against him/her. Other post-conflict affiliative interventions such as reconciliation and quadratic affiliation are also common in this species. However, little attention has been given to contacts directed toward the aggressor. Here, we explore the role of bystander affiliative interventions toward the aggressor in influencing the affective state of the aggressor and the consequences of triadic interventions at group level. We found that triadic post-conflict affiliation occurred independently from the intensity of the conflict and that it was more frequent in absence of the conciliatory contact between the opponents (reconciliation). Bystanders showed a higher amount of post-conflict affiliation toward low ranking aggressors. Post-conflict triadic affiliation functioned as a tension reduction mechanism by lowering the arousal of the aggressor, which less frequently engaged in renewed aggression. All these findings suggest that post-conflict triadic contacts in Tonkean macaques can be considered as a strategic mechanism to calm the aggressor and reduce the risk of retaliatory aggression. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Peaceful third-party interventions usually occur after an aggressive encounter and can be directed toward the victim or the aggressor. Macaca tonkeana, a cercopithecine species characterized by high levels of tolerance, frequently engage in consolatory contacts, which both calm the victim and reduce the probability of further attacks against him/her. Other post-conflict affiliative interventions such as reconciliation and quadratic affiliation are also common in this species. However, little attention has been given to contacts directed toward the aggressor. Here, we explore the role of bystander affiliative interventions toward the aggressor in influencing the affective state of the aggressor and the consequences of triadic interventions at group level. We found that triadic post-conflict affiliation occurred independently from the intensity of the conflict and that it was more frequent in absence of the conciliatory contact between the opponents (reconciliation). Bystanders showed a higher amount of post-conflict affiliation toward low ranking aggressors. Post-conflict triadic affiliation functioned as a tension reduction mechanism by lowering the arousal of the aggressor, which less frequently engaged in renewed aggression. All these findings suggest that post-conflict triadic contacts in Tonkean macaques can be considered as a strategic mechanism to calm the aggressor and reduce the risk of retaliatory aggression. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Search