Is human conversation more efficient than chimpanzee grooming?
- Michio Nakamura
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Clique sizes for chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) grooming and for human conversation are compared in order to test Robin Dunbar’s hypothesis that human language is almost three times as efficient a bonding mechanism as primate grooming. Recalculation of the data provided by Dunbar et al. (1995) reveals that the average clique size for human conversation is 2.72 whereas that of chimpanzee grooming is shown to be 2.18. The efficiency of human conversation and actual chimpanzee grooming over Dunbar’s primate grooming model (always one-to-one and a one-way interaction) is 1.27 and 1.25, respectively, when we take role alternation into account. Chimpanzees can obtain about the same efficiency as humans in terms of quantity of social interactions because their grooming is often mutual and polyadic.
- Boccia, M. L. 1983 A Functional Analysis of Social Grooming Patterns through Direct Comparison with Self-Grooming in Rhesus Monkeys. International Journal of Primatology 4:399–418.
- Caccone, A., and R. Powell 1989 DNA Divergence among Hominoids. Evolution 43:925–942. CrossRef
- Cooper, M. A., and I. S. Bernstein 2000 Social Grooming in Assames Macaques (Macaca assamensis). American Journal of Primatology 50:77–85. CrossRef
- de Waal, F. B. M. 1989 Peacemaking among Primates. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- 1997 The Chimpanzee’s Service Economy: Food for Grooming. Evolution and Human Behavior 18:375–386. CrossRef
- Dunbar, R. I. M. 1991 Functional Significance of Social Grooming in Primates. Folia Primatologica 57:121–131.
- 1992 Neocortex Size as a Constraint on Group Size in Primates. Journal of Human Evolution 20:469–493. CrossRef
- 1993 Coevolution of Neocortical Size, Group Size and Language in Humans. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16:681–735. CrossRef
- 1996 Grooming, Gossip and Evolution of Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Dunbar, R. I. M., N. D. C. Duncan, and D. Nettle 1995 Size and Structure of Freely Forming Conversational Groups. Human Nature 6:67–78.
- Furuichi, T. 1992 The Prolonged Estrus of Females and Factors Influencing Mating in a Wild Group of Bonobos (Pan paniscus) in Wamba, Zaire. In Topics in Primatology, Vol. 2: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, N. Itoigawa, Y. Sugiyama, G. P. Sackett, and R. K. R. Thompson, eds. Pp. 179–190. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
- Furuya, Y. 1957 Grooming Behavior in Wild Japanese Monkeys. Primates 1:47–68. CrossRef
- Goodall, J. 1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Goosen, C. 1987 Social Grooming in Primates. In Comparative Primate Biology, Vol. 2B: Behavior, Cognition, and Motivation, G. Mitchel and J. Erwin, eds. Pp. 107–131. New York: Alan R. Liss.
- Kano, T. 1992 The Last Ape: Pygmy Chimpanzee Behavior and Ecology. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Kaufman, I. C., and L. A. Rosenblum 1966 A Behavioral Taxonomy for Macaca nemestrina and Macaca radiata: Based on Longitudinal Observation of Family Groups in the Laboratory. Primates 7:205–258. CrossRef
- Kimura, D. 1995 Speech Overlap and Long Silence among the Baka Pygmy. Journal of African Studies 46:1–19. (in Japanese with English abstract)
- Kojima, T. 1984 Generalization between Productive Use and Receptive Discrimination of Names in an Artificial Visual Language by a Chimpanzee. International Journal of Primatology 5:161–182.
- McGrew, W. C., and C. E. G. Tutin 1978 Evidence for Social Custom in Wild Chimpanzees? Man 13:234–251. CrossRef
- McKenna, J. 1978 Biosocial Functions of Grooming Behavior among the Common Indian Langur Monkey (Presbytis entellus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 48:503–510. CrossRef
- Morris, D. 1967 The Naked Ape. London: Jonathan Cape.
- Nakamura, M., W. C. McGrew, L. F. Marchant, and T. Nishida 2000 Social Scratch: Another Custom in Wild Chimpanzees? Primates 41 (in press).
- Nishida, T. 1988 Development of Social Grooming between Mother and Offspring in Wild Chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica 50:109–123. CrossRef
- 1998 Deceptive Tactic by an Adult Male Chimpanzee to Snatch a Dead Infant from Its Mother. Pan Africa News 5:13–15.
- Nishida, T., ed. 1990 The Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: Sexual and Life History Strategies. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
- Oberski, I. M. 1993 A Method for the Analysis of Grooming Reciprocation at the Dyadic Level. In Current Primatology, Vol. II: Social Development, Learning and Behaviour, J. J. Roeder, B. Thierry, J. R. Anderson and N. Herrenschmidt, eds. Pp. 175–183 Strasbourg: Université Louis Pasteur.
- Parr, L. A., M. D. Matheson, I. S. Bernstein, and F. B. M. de Waal 1997 Grooming down the Hierarchy: Allogrooming in Captive Brown Capuchin Monkeys, Cebus apella. Animal Behaviour 54:361–367. CrossRef
- Sacks, H., E. A. Schegloff, and G. Jefferson 1978 A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn Taking for Conversation. In Studies in the Organization of Conversational Interaction, J. Schenkein, ed. Pp. 7–55. New York: Academic Press.
- Sade, D. S. 1965 Some Aspects of Parent-Offspring and Sibling Relations in a Group of Rhesus Monkeys, with a Discussion of Grooming. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 23:1–18. CrossRef
- Savage-Rambaugh, E. S., D. M. Rambaugh, and S. Boysen 1978 Symbolic Communication between Two Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Science 201:641–644. CrossRef
- Scott, J. 1991 Social network Analysis: A Handbook. London: Sage.
- Sparks, J. 1967 Allogrooming in Primates: A Review. In Primate Ethology, D. Morris, ed. Pp. 148–175. London: Morrison and Gibb.
- Sugawara, K. 1984 Spatial Proximity and Bodily Contact among the Central Kalahari San. African Study Monographs 3:1–43.
- 1998 The "egalitarian" attitude in everyday conversation among the | Gui. In The Proceedings of the Khoisan Identities and Cultural Heritage Conference, A. Bank, ed. Pp. 232–240. Capetown: Institute for Historical Research.
- Takahata, Y. 1990a Adult Males’ Social Relations with Adult Female. In The Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: Sexual and Life History Strategies, T. Nishida, ed. Pp. 133–148. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
- 1990b Social Relationships among Adult Males. In The Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: Sexual and Life History Strategies, T. Nishida, ed. Pp. 149–170. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
- Tanaka, I., and H. Takefushi 1993 Elimination of External Parasite (Lice) Is the Primary Function of Grooming in Free-Ranging Japanese Macaques. Anthropological Science 101:187–193.
- Is human conversation more efficient than chimpanzee grooming?
Volume 11, Issue 3 , pp 281-297
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Bonding mechanisms
- Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
- Clique size
- Michio Nakamura (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Kyoto University, Japan