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Article |

Social Relationships and Aggression in Rhesus Monkeys

Jules H. Masserman, MD; Stanley Wechkin, PhD; Marvin Woolf, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(2):210-213. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740020082010.
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LABORATORY and field investigations have indicated that many primates, particularly macaques and baboons, regulate their feeding, sexual and other social interactions in accord with predetermined dominance relationships. These have been found to be quickly formed,1 quite stable,2 and, with few exceptions,3 highly resistant to reversal.4,5 Kawai6,7 attempted to resolve observed differences between dyadic and group dominance by positing two forms: basic rank, determined by "physiological factors such as weight, physical strength, etc," and dependent rank, dependent on kinship and other relationships to nearby conspecifics. For example, Maslow8 noted that a previously submissive female rhesus viciously attacked a dominant male when a third animal was present, only to revert to submissiveness when her ally was removed. Our own experiments were undertaken to investigate further the influence of relative familiarity and gender in the formation of group alliances and subsequently altered dominance interactions.

Experiment 1  Subjects.—These were 11


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