Emotional bookkeeping and differentiated affiliative relationships: Exploring the role of dynamics and speed in updating relationship quality in the EMO-model.

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Date: Apr. 2, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 10,146 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Abstract :

Emotional bookkeeping is the process by which primates integrate the emotional effects of social interactions to form internal representations of their affiliative relationships. The dynamics and speed of this process, which comprises the formation, maintenance and fading out of affiliative relationships, are not clear. Empirical data suggest that affiliative relationships are slowly formed and do not easily fade out. The EMO-model, an agent-based model designed to simulate the social life of primates capable of emotional bookkeeping, was used to explore the effects of different types of internal relationship dynamics and speeds of increase and decrease of relationship strength. In the original EMO-model the internal dynamics involves a fast built-up of a relationship independent of its current quality, alongside a relatively fast fading out of relationship quality. Here we explore the effect of this original dynamics and an alternative dynamics more in line with empirical data, in combination with different speeds of internal relationship quality increase and decrease, on the differentiation and stability of affiliative relationships. The alternative dynamics leads to more differentiated and stable affiliative relationships than the original dynamics, especially when the speed with which internal relationship quality increases is low and the speed with which it decreases is intermediate. Consequently, individuals can groom different group members with varying frequency and support a rich social life with stable preferred partners and attention to several others. In conclusion, differentiated and stable affiliative relationships are especially formed when friends are not made too quickly and not forgotten too easily.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A657179288