Bondedness and sociality

Robin I M Dunbar, Susanne Shultz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Approaches to sociality have, in the past, focused either on group typologies or on the functional aspects of relationships (mate choice, parental investment decisions). In contrast, the nature of the social relationships that scale from the individual-level behavioural decisions to the emergent properties represented by group typology has received almost no attention at all. We argue that that there is now a need to refocus attention on the bonding processes that give rise to social groups. However, we lack any kind of language with which to describe or classify these operationally, in part perhaps because social bonding is emotional (and, hence, 'felt'). One task for the future is, therefore, to identify suitable indices that can be used to compare the degree of bondedness between individual animals both between species and, within species, between individual dyads in such a way as to be able to test functional questions. © 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)775-803
    Number of pages28
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


    • Behavioural synchrony
    • Bondedness
    • Social bonds
    • Social evolution
    • Visual monitoring


    Dive into the research topics of 'Bondedness and sociality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this