Jorg J.M. Massen
2010 June 23, PhD in Behavioural Biology: 'Friendship' in Macaques. Economics and Emotions.
2006-2010 Ph.D. in Behavioural Biology; Project: "That's what friends are for." Acceptance of underbenefiting in friendships of human and non-human primates. NOW (Dutch Organization of Science) funded. Utrecht University, The Netherlands
2005-2006 M.Sc. Degree in Science Communication, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Not finished.
2002-2004 M.Sc. Degree in Behavioural Ecology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
1999-2002 B.Sc. Degree in Biology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
I am interested in evolutionary based theories explaining animal behaviour. One of the major problems within these theories has been the evolutionary explanation of altruism. Until Trivers (1971) introduced the theory of reciprocal altruism. The most common way to look at relationships within social species in biology up until now therefore has become the Tit-for-Tat rule (Axelrod & Hamilton 1981). In the social sciences this view is not shared and especially not when these relationships concern friendships (Clark & Mills 1979; Deutsch 1975). Recently though in biology too it has been suggested that exchange processes might differ according to relationship quality. In collaboration with the social science department of the University of Groningen we therefore study friendships in both humans and rhesus macaques. Unravelling the mechanisms underlying friendship, with the comparative approach we eventually hope to learn more about friendship and how it (could) evolved.
I study friendship in the rhesus macaques by means of both observational studies and behavioural experiments. In the observational study we look for contingency in exchange processes and depict who's friend to whom (for methods see Smuts 1985). In my experiments I make use of the inequity aversion paradigm (Fehr & Schmidt 1999; Brosnan & de Waal 2003; Brosnan, Schiff & de Waal 2005) and test whether friends are more tolerant towards underbenefitting than non-friends.
Axelrod, R. & Hamilton, W.D. 1981 The
evolution of cooperation. Science. 211, 1390-1396.
Previous research projects
Nov'03 - Oct'04 Research on the Development of Feeding competence in wild immature Orangutans; Department of Biology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in collaboration with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, Kalimantan, Indonesia; fieldwork in the tropical rainforest in Tuanan, Central Kalimantan;
Mar'03 - Oct'03 Research on the begging and provisioning of the Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus); Department of Animal Population Biology, NIOO (Netherlands Institute of Ecology), Heteren, the Netherlands, in collaboration with Utrecht University; fieldwork in Dutch forest
Aug'06 Rudolf Magnus &endash; Helmholtz Summerschool, 'From Perception to Action', PhD-discussant/encouraging award
Massen, J.J.M., van den Berg, L.M., Spruijt, B.M. & Sterck, E.H.M. (in press) Inequity aversion and the effect of relationship quality in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). American Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1002/ajp.21014
Massen, J.J.M., Overduin-de Vries, A.M., de Vos-Rouweler, A.J.M., Spruijt, B.M., Doxiadis, G.G.M. & Sterck, E.H.M. (in press) Male mating tactics in captive rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta: the influence of dominance, markets and relationship quality. International Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1007/s10764-011-9552-5
Overduin-de Vries, A.M., Massen, J.J.M., Spruijt, B.M. & Sterck, E.H.M. (in press) Sneaky monkeys: an audience effect on rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sexual behaviour. American Journal of Primatology.
Massen, J.J.M., Luyten, I.J.A.F., Spruijt, B.M. & Sterck, E.H.M. (2011) Benefiting dominants or maybe friends: Pro-social choices seem to depend on rank position in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Primates, 52: 237-247. doi: 10.1007/s10329-011-0244-8
Massen J.J.M., van den Berg, L.M., Spruijt B.M., Sterck E.H.M. (2010) Generous leaders and selfish underdogs: Pro-sociality in despotic macaques. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9734. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009734
Massen J.J.M, Sterck, E.H.M. & de Vos, H. (2010). A review of close social associations in animals and humans: Functions and mechanisms of friendship. Behaviour 147: 1379-1412. doi: 10.1163/000579510X528224
J.J.M. Massen, M.Sc., PhD-student at the department of Behavioural Biology, Utrecht University. Responsible for the Rhesus Monkey part of the research.
Dr. E.H.M. Sterck, researcher at ASD, BPRC and the department of Behavioural Biology, Utrecht University. : Supervisor of Jorg Massen.
Dr. R.C. Smaniotto, post-doc at the Sociology/ Evolutionary Psychology department of the University of Groningen. Responsible for the Human part of the research.
Dr. H. de Vos, researcher at the sociology department at the University of Groningen. : Supervisor of Rita Smaniotto.
Prof. dr. F.B.M. de Waal, chandler professor of primate behaviour at the Emory University, Atlanta US, and director of the Living Links Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta US. Advisor
Prof. dr. A.P. Buunk, professor of Social psychology at the University of Groningen. Advisor
Master students (Animal Biology, Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience and Cognition) are welcome to contact me for an internship (preferable length: 6-9 months). The work includes observing the animals but might also give some experience with conducting non-invasive behavioural tasks. Please contact me for further information.
'Contingency of exchange processes of friends and non-friends in rhesus macaques.'
'Indirect reciprocity and market effects in rhesus macaques.'
'Need based helping in rhesus macaques.'
Utrecht University, department of behavioural biology: http://www.bio.uu.nl/behaviour
Living Links, Center for the Advanced Study of Ape and Human Evolution:
NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research:
Dr. R.C. Smaniotto:
Animal Behavior Society Web Site:
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Gedragsbiologie (NVG), Dutch animal behaviour society:
Primate Info Net, Library and information service, national primate center, University of Wisconsin &endash; Madison:
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