Science: Pecks in Reverse

Scientists trying to understand human social relationships often experiment with the simpler relations of lower animals. A favorite study is the pecking order of poultry. In groups of chickens there is usually one dominant individual that bosses the others around and may peck them all, but not be pecked in return. Slightly lower than No. 1 is No. 2, which gets pecked by No. 1, but pecks all the rest. At the bottom of the social sequence is a bedraggled, disheartened creature that is pecked by all, but does not peck back.

Last week Psychologists Wendell I. Smith of Bucknell University and...

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