Koski, S. E., Sterck, E. H. M. 2007. Triadic postconflict affiliation in captive chimpanzees: does consolation console? Animal Behaviour 73(1), 133-142.
Consolation is a triadic postconflict interaction between a conflict participant and an uninvolved third party. We tested whether consolation alleviates postconflict stress in captive chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes. In addition, we examined whether consolation is a substitute postconflict interaction for reconciliation.We collected 643 postconflict-matched control pairs on aggressees and 576 on aggressors. Consolation occurred equally frequently with aggressees and aggressors. However, we found no evidence that consolation alleviated stress, regardless of the identity of the consoler. In addition, consolation was also directed to conflict participants with no evident postconflict stress. Furthermore, we found no evidence for consolation being a substitute for reconciliation. he occurrence of consolation did not depend on the occurrence of reconciliation and consolation was not more prevalent with the sex class that reconciled less often or had the highest postconflict stress levels. We conclude that consolation is a postconflict interaction in its own right, the function of which is not likely to be connected to stress alleviation of the consoled individual.