Behavior: How to Win Friends

What happens to little girls who actively bid for the approval of other little girls their age? They get it. And what happens to little boys who crave popularity with other little boys? They are scorned. This somewhat unsettling conclusion has been drawn from an experiment staged at two suburban Boston grade schools by Psychologist Lane K. Conn of Boston's Northeastern University. With two research assistants. who suggested the experiment, Conn rated 192 fifth-and sixth-graders on a scale that measured their need for approval. Then his subjects were asked, among other things, to pick the three classmates they would choose for...

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