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Connecting ethology to the social sciences: A primatological analysis of human bystander behavior during conflicts

Project description

Using CCTV to test theories of bystander conflict behaviour from primatology

Little is known about human behaviour during conflicts because direct and undisturbed naturalistic observations of humans are rare. While primatology has provided extensive evidence of a behavioural universality shared with non-human and human primates, social scientists have started using closed-circuit television (CCTV) to make systematic and unobtrusive observations. However, there is still a need for integration with theories and methodologies from ethology. In this context, the EU-funded SOCIOETHO project will connect ethology to the social sciences by testing theories of bystander conflict behaviour from primatology on CCTV camera observations of human adults in 500 conflicts. It will integrate methodological standards for observational studies from ethology in the social sciences.

Objective

Primatology provided extensive evidence of non-human primate behavior during conflicts claiming a behavioral universality shared with human primates. However, little is known about human behavior during conflicts because direct and undisturbed naturalistic observations of humans are rare. Recently, social scientists started to fill this gap by observing adult human behavior in real-life conflicts using Closed Circuits Television (CCTV). These systematic and unobtrusive observations of adult humans provided evidence for behavioral continuity between human and non-human primates during conflicts but currently lack integration with theories and methodologies from ethology. This project aims to connect ethology to the social sciences by testing theories of bystander conflict behavior from primatology on CCTV camera observations of human adults in 500 conflicts. It integrates methodological standards for observational studies from ethology in the social sciences, and provides motivational explanations of bystander actions in conflicts for the benefits of observational studies in both fields. The integrative methodology adds to both primatology, by providing understanding of human behavioral continuity in the primate order, and to sociology, by providing an evolutionary perspective on human behavior in the context of bystander conflict management. In turn, by conducting the project, I will acquire, as primatologist, an inclusive theoretical understanding of bystander interventions in primates, including the human species that will launch me into an interdisciplinary career.

Coordinator

STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN
Net EU contribution
€ 263 358,72
Address
WINTHONTLAAN 2
3526 KV Utrecht
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 263 358,72