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Indiana University Bloomington
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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

What Are Friends For?
Discussion lunch with evolutionary anthropologist Joan Silk

November 14, 2012

Joan Silk has found that while many animals live in groups, humans and other primates are unusual because individuals establish close and lasting social bonds within their groups and the capacity and motivation to establish and nurture such close relationships have been significant factors in the evolution of primates over millions of years. Such bonds are particularly pronounced in female baboons, and data derived from long-term studies suggest that social bonds help females cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life. Additionally, these findings closely parallel evidence that social ties have positive effects on physical and mental health in humans and that the quality of the bonds are more important than the number. Students were encouraged to bring a friend (or two) and came to discuss the significance and benefits of close social relationships!


Extracurriculars Home | Pictures from Recent Programs


Professor Joan Silk and student host Jaclyn Nora discuss how close and lasting social bonds among primates tell us about human friendships.


Extracurriculars Home | Pictures from Recent Programs