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Cooperative Alliances

Cooperative Alliances

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Cooperative Alliances

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  1. Cooperative Alliances

  2. Baboons • Alliances based on reciprocity, grooming • Baboons who recently gave help most likely to get help • Males who don’t form alliances rarely get access to females • Females who were recently groomed more likely to help groomer

  3. Chimpanzees • Males form alliances to fight alpha male and get access to females • Females shift allegiance to dominant male • Alliances enforced by violence, followed by friendliness • Males bolster alliances with females by grooming her and being friendly to her infants

  4. Social Contract Theory

  5. Needed cognitive capacities • Recognize many individuals • Remember history of interactions with different individuals • Communicate one’s values/needs to others • Perceive values/needs of others • Represent costs & benefits independent of items exchanged

  6. Friendship

  7. Three bases for alliances • Hamilton’s kin selection • Reciprocity • Becoming indispensable

  8. Banker’s Paradox • Limited amount of capital to loan • People with most money are best credit risk, people with least are worst risk • For helping in general: those in greatest need may be least able to repay us in future, unless problems just temporary • Becoming indispensable increases loyalty of friendship; a way out of paradox

  9. How to be Indispensable • Promote a reputation for unique & exceptional attributes • Recognize personal attributes others value but have difficulty getting from other people • Develop special talents/skills • Seek out those who strongly value your skills & attributes • Avoid groups where your skills not valued • Drive off rivals who offer benefits that you alone formerly provided

  10. Limited Niches for Friendship • Everyone has limited time, energy, effort • Helping one person decreases resources for helping another • How to choose?

  11. Tooby & Cosmides: how we choose friends • Number of slots already filled • Who emits positive externalities (people who have beneficial side effects, such as strength, status, connections) • Select friends who are good at reading your mind (they can understand your needs, etc.) • Select friends who consider you irreplaceable • Select friends who want the same things you want

  12. Costs & Benefits of Friendship:study by Bleske & Buss • Possible short-term sexual access: more often considered by males than females • Provide protection: more often considered by females than males • Provide information about the opposite sex: receive more info & more useful info from same-sex friends than opposite-sex friends • Potential cost: intrasexual rivalry: more often reported by males than females (related to short-term sexual access, perhaps)