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How do you measure pleasure? A discussion about intrinsic costs and benefits in primate allogrooming

Russell, Yvan I and Phelps, Steve (2013) 'How do you measure pleasure? A discussion about intrinsic costs and benefits in primate allogrooming.' Biology & Philosophy, 28 (6). pp. 1005-1020. ISSN 0169-3867

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Social grooming is an important element of social life in terrestrial primates, inducing the putative benefits of β-endorphin stimulation and group harmony and cohesion. Implicit in many analyses of grooming (e.g. biological markets) are the assumptions of costs and benefits to grooming behaviour. Here, in a review of literature, we investigate the proximate costs and benefits of grooming, as a potentially useful explanatory substrate to the well-documented ultimate (functional) explanations. We find that the hedonic benefits of grooming are well documented. However, we did not find convincing evidence for costs. If proximate costs do exist, they might consist of energetic, cognitive, opportunity costs, or some combination of all of these. Nonetheless, there remains the possibility that grooming costs are negligible, or even that the provision of allogrooming is rewarding in itself. We suggest empirical research to resolve this issue.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Grooming; Value; Sociality; Primates; Cost; Benefit; Game theory
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of > Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 09:51
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 10:49

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