Methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation

H. C. Veenema*, M. Das, F. Aureli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper suggests methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation, i.e. affiliative interactions between former opponents shortly after agonistic conflicts. Three methods have been suggested to determine whether post-conflict affiliation between former opponents is higher than what would be expected by chance. Two of these methods may fail to find this higher level when the analyses are based on long-lasting observations. The third method, however, solves this potential shortcoming by identifying the 'relevant' duration of the observations to be considered. We also emphasize the importance of distinguishing post-conflict affiliative interactions on the basis of their timing following a conflict in order to examine their conciliatory functions. Finally we suggest a correction of the conciliatory tendency, a measure used to compare the frequency of reconciliation between dyads of individuals that may have different baseline levels of affiliation. A comparison between the original measure and the corrected one shows that only the latter is independent of the baseline level of affiliation and is, therefore, more suitable for the study of intra- and inter-specific differences in the frequency of reconciliation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1994


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