Affiliation is the desire or tendency to be with others of one's own kind. Many animal species affiliate, collecting in groups, flocks, or schools to migrate or search for food. Human affiliation is not controlled by instinct but is affected by specific motives. One motivation for affiliation is fear: People seek the company of others when they are anxious or frightened. The presence of others may have a calming or reassuring influence. Research in 1959 by social psychologist Stanley Schachter indicated that fear inducement leads to a preference for the company of others. Further work confirmed that frightened individuals prefer the company of others who are similarly frightened, rather than merely the companionship of strangers. This preference for similar others suggests that affiliation is a source of information as well as reassurance.
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