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Living in Utopia experiment
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Taka
2016-02-24 01:27:42 UTC
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Does Calhoun’s Shocking Experiment Reveal the Condition of Our Society?

“Shocking experiment reveals the condition of our society!”

Such a headline is usually tied to articles describing Dr. John Calhoun’s behavior experiments.

Obviously, there’s a reason for that.

Among other things, the conclusions drawn up from Calhoun’s experiment are used to criticize abundant societies, to seek ways of organizing cities, and to explain the origins of feminist movements or the disappearance of masculinity.

In contrast to fake, poorly-photoshopped Albert Einstein’s quotes, Calhoun’s experiment has actually been carried out. One may have doubts about the conclusions of the experiment; however, we will discuss those a bit later.

First, let’s talk about the experiment itself. Although Calhoun’s discoveries are thought to be some of the most important in the history of psychology, (Hock, 2004 as cited in: Ramsden, Adams 2009) the scientist’s work is not as widely known as experiments performed by Zimbardo or Milgram.

Dr. Calhoun was an extremely famous ethologist who studied mainly behavior of mice and rats at the National Institutes of Health (USA). The most important experiments were conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. One of most shocking experiments performed by the behavioral researcher is known as the Mouse Utopia Experiment.

During the experiment, a group of eight mice were living in ideal environmental conditions. The utopian universe provided rodents with unlimited access to everything necessary for the animals to survive. The mice were provided with food, water, and nesting material. Everything was available at their paw tips.

Although the beginning of the experiment seems ordinary, the course of the study, as well as the results, are quite astonishing.

What exactly did the experiment look like?

CONDITIONS:

The four pairs of mice were living in an enclosed square area of 2.57m x 2.57m. They had the already mentioned unlimited access to food, water, and materials needed to build nests. The resources were calculated in such way that the mice could live without “worrying” about anything until reaching the number of 3840 rodents.

Other aspects of their lives were also taken care of.

The temperature was maintained at 20-30°C and it would change depending on the month. The inhabitants of the utopian universe enjoyed delicate and pleasant wind generated by a fan. Every four to eight weeks the whole area was cleaned out, removing the leftovers, excrement, and other municipal waste.

The sterility was also maintained, so the mice were free from any serious diseases. No predators had access to the mouse utopia; therefore, the animals didn’t have to fight for their lives.

Basically, the animals were living in paradise. They were safe, full, warm, and their houses were cleaned. Actually, they didn’t have to do a thing.
The Calhoun experiment lasted four years and it was divided into four phases. In order to retain symmetry I will provide you with details in four sections.
PHASE A  0-104 DAYS

Four pairs of mice were placed in the enclosed area.

Considerable social turmoil was noticed during the first 104 days. The mice were slowly trying to get used to each other as well as to adjust to the incredibly luxurious surroundings.
PHASE B  104-315 DAYS

During this period, social development was observed. The population doubled every 55 days on average until it reached 620 mice. The pace was quick. Whenever the litters reached sexual maturity they were becoming parents themselves.

There was some disproportion in the number of births in certain units, however. In some sectors as many as 111 litters were born; in others there were only 13 (eight times less).

Where does the difference come from?

The birth rate depended on the domination of males occupying particular units. The more active males were impregnating more females than their passive colleagues.

As the population grew, the best habitual units were being occupied by organized social groups. The Dionysian attitude of the participants in the experiment resulted in the increase of the number of young mice, which in turn surpassed the number of old mice three times by the end of the third phase.

That was the first sign suggesting that things may take an unexpected course. It is impossible to observe such a high birth rate in a natural mouse environment because the majority of litters simply die during their first days of life.

However, it was the phenomena observed in phase C of the experiment that were later discussed worldwide for decades.
PHASE C  315-560 DAYS

In phase C, slower population growth was noticed. The population now doubled every 145 days in contrast to just 55 days in the previous phase. This atypical behavior among the mice of the utopian universe was observed.

In a natural environment (even though the number of litters is lower than in the experiment) most young mice reach maturity. As a consequence, there are more mice than there are available positions within the hierarchy of a particular group. When this happens, those who can’t find a position in the mice society will emigrate. 

However, there was no place to emigrate to during the experiment.
In the utopian experiment, many young mice were competing for a limited number of social positions. Those who failed to win the mouse race were dominated by other members of society in quite a dramatic manner.

The outcast mice would gather in the less attractive units of the utopian universe and withdraw from social interaction with other mice. Their position became so insignificant that their presence would not even provoke attacks from dominating males.

Nevertheless, their bodies were covered with wounds and scars.

These wounds weren’t the result of fights with other mice to attain a better social position though. They were from internal fights within the outcast group. From time to time one of the males would attack a chosen victim who had lost the ability to run away or fight back. After some time the victim would turn into the aggressor, accelerating spiral of violence by attacking other mice.

Not only were changes observed at the bottom of the social ladder, but also at the very top. The most territorial males were facing great challenges.

Even though certain mice failed in this mouse race, huge numbers of young rodents were still fighting for their own territory. Even the most combative males had difficulty fighting back against so many aggressors. The mouse universe was shrinking, and the intensity of defensive reactions was decreasing.

Due to the trouble in establishing the role of dominant male, peculiar changes in the behavior of female mice was observed.

The lack of guaranteed security made the nursing females more susceptible to potential attacks. Despite the fact that nursing females rarely involved themselves in aggressive situations in a natural environment, they were actually becoming the main aggressors in this experiment. They were often taking over the role of dominant males.
This aggression quickly spread to their own young. The nursing females often forced their young to leave home long before they become independent. The litters were attacked and severely wounded by the females also during labour.

By midway in phase C, almost all young were prematurely rejected by their mothers. These rejected mice started an independent life with no experience in social interaction or building relationships. Even when they did try to socially interact, life in a highly populated universe meant their efforts went unnoticed by other mice. The maternal, aggression, or love instincts were not developed at all. Great numbers of females didn’t get pregnant during their entire lifetime.

A new and unusual group of males called the beautiful ones formed.

These mice were never engaging themselves in fighting or sexual approaches towards females; thus, their fur was nicely groomed. Their behavioral repertoire was confined to eating, drinking, sleeping, and grooming. The beautiful ones were also avoiding any potentially risky types of behavior.

At the end of phase C, the typical, organized mice society no longer existed.
PHASE D  560-1588 DAYS

Population growth slowed drastically on day 560 after colonization. A small number of mice born before day 600 survived their childhood. The population was ageing very quickly. Three years after commencing the experiment, the average mouse lifespan was 776 days. That’s the equivalent of 80 human years.

Three months later only 122 mice were living in the society. The majority of the last half of the population constituted non-reproducing females and attractive, uninterested-in-sex males. Only two groups in reproductive age were left; however, they weren’t able to reproduce.
After time the population become extinct.

Dr. Halsey Marsden (1972, as cited in: Calhoun, 1973) carried out a similar experiment in which the mice from phase D were placed in a new and not overpopulated environment. Despite the better living conditions, these mice were not able to create an organized society. They lost the ability to reproduce and didn’t present a significant amount of sexual behaviors. The experiences of these mice within the “utopian society” resulted in the lack of ability to create a normal life outside of it.

What are the typical conclusions from this so-called “utopian” experiment?

TYPICAL CONCLUSIONS

Here is the quick list of the conclusions that can be found in numerous articles and comments to the article:
The disappearance of masculinity in modern world (as seen in “the beautiful ones.”)
Social exclusion makes victims extremely aggressive ( similar to the “rejected” mice living in the centre of the utopia.)
The extinction of society resulting from prosperity (as seemed to happen by the end of the whole experiment.)
Aggressive women taking over the role of men when there are no strong men around (as seen in the aggressive female mice.)
The need to provide the new generation with decent workplaces or otherwise the whole generation will go to waste (similar to the disproportion of young and old people within the mice society.)

These are things that first come to mind after reading about this experiment. And these were the first thoughts that came to my mind too.

However, the “utopian experiment” does not actually support these ideas, and potential implications for our own society.

I will let Calhoun explain himself.

CALHOUN’S CONCLUSIONS

According to Calhoun, such phenomena may take place in societies where the older generations live longer than usual and the population growth is still within normal limits. The elderly do not die fast enough, and the younger generations wait impatiently to take over certain social roles. The competition between generations becomes much more severe.

After time, the old and the young start behaving in a way they would never do in the wild. Along with behavioral changes, the organization of society declines.

The rejection of young by their mothers and other adults creates an additional problem. The lack of opportunities to develop adequate affective bonds in childhood has a negative effect later on in life. Rather than intense, long-term relationships with a small family unit, shallow, short, and partial relations with a large number of others in the group, can lead to serious behavioral challenges.

The products of such living conditions are autistic-like individuals only capable of social behaviors necessary to survive. They are not able to do what typical mice do; i.e. engage in courtship, protect territory, take care of the young, create and be part of intragroup and intergroup hierarchy.

This lack of complex behaviors leads to the demise of the population.
Summing up, according to Calhoun, the reason for the above-mentioned result is too few or attractive social roles, and the decay of close and intensive relationships observed in early childhood. Overpopulation is the genesis of these two phenomena. Not the abundance of resources.

WHAT IS THE EXPERIMENT ABOUT THEN?

Only few people quoting this experiment understand its message.

Despite the popular name of the experiment, Calhoun failed to create utopian conditions. Quite the opposite, the main purpose of the experiment was to observe the reaction of mice when living in an overpopulated society. In order to create an actual utopian environment, the whole living area should have been enlarged before the start of phase C.

When thinking about human populations, the reason for extinction would not be prosperity but overpopulation. Those who think that prosperity spoils humans should visit the poorest countries in the world and see what people are able to do to provide their families with food and money.

However, here we are dealing with a much more significant question. Can we actually apply the results of the experiment to humans?

When discussing the experiment’s results with other researchers, Calhoun was referring to overpopulated Calcutta; the citizens of which seemed devoid of hope, capable of only simple behaviors. However, cities such as Hong Kong or Singapore are also overpopulated, but include examples of well-organized, prosperous, and active societies.

Jonathan Freedman, a scientist who was also interested in the subject matter of Calhoun’s experiment, was studying the negative impact of overpopulation on humans. It turns out there is no negative impact at all. Freedman suggested that it is not the overpopulation but the uncontrolled social interactions that are problematic. Subsequent experiments showed that the lack of privacy leads to a higher stress level and “overpopulation” feeling (Freedman, 1975).

It should also be noted that humans, despite the number of similar biological and behavioral mechanisms, are a bit more complex creatures than mice. Human culture, which separates us from other animals, has an equally significant impact on the way we behave as biology does. If the culture had not had that impact our social interactions would still resemble – very natural and based on biology – behavior of the cavemen.

WHAT IS THE ACTUAL CONCLUSION?

Well, the shocking experiment outlined above does not describe the condition of our own society after all. Nevertheless, we should pay attention to the subsequent discoveries, and make sure we have our own private space to relax and recharge.

Also, when reading about different experiments, it is worth noting whether the author of the article provides a bibliography or other sources. I once read that bananas contain happiness hormones on a Polish equivalent of 9gag.com. Many websites often popularize content that is as emotional as it is simply unreliable, so it’s up to you to verify everything you read.
References

Calhoun, J. B. (1973). Death squared: the explosive growth and demise of a mouse population. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 66(1 Pt 2), 80.

Freedman, J. L. (1975). Crowding and behavior. WH Freedman.

Ramsden, E., & Adams, J. (2009). Escaping the laboratory: the rodent experiments of John B. Calhoun & their cultural influence. Journal of Social History, 42(3), 761-792.

https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2008/07_25_2008/story1.htm

SOURCE: http://imprific.com/budkowski/does-calhoun-experiment-reveal-the-condition-of-our-society/
Taka
2016-02-25 01:20:49 UTC
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Raw Message
Matches the present human society EXACTLY...

- The rise of strong females - hot chicks driving politics by the joysticks called dicks (it's so easy to control the powerful men)

- The beautiful ones - "genius" transgenders like e.g. Sophie Wilson (the father of all mobile devices)

- Aggressive lower class - look at the poor like our Richmond shack resident

etc.
Taka
2016-02-25 02:16:46 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Taka
Does Calhoun’s Shocking Experiment Reveal the Condition of Our Society?
“Shocking experiment reveals the condition of our society!”
Such a headline is usually tied to articles describing Dr. John Calhoun ’s behavior experiments.
Obviously, there’s a reason for that.
Among other things, the conclusions drawn up from Calhoun’s experiment are used to criticize abundant societies, to seek ways of organizing cities, and to explain the origins of feminist movements or the disappearance of masculinity.
In contrast to fake, poorly-photoshopped Albert Einstein’s quotes, Calhoun’s experiment has actually been carried out. One may have doubts about the conclusions of the experiment; however, we will discuss those a bit later.
First, let’s talk about the experiment itself. Although Calhoun’s discoveries are thought to be some of the most important in the history of psychology, (Hock, 2004 as cited in: Ramsden, Adams 2009) the scientist’s work is not as widely known as experiments performed by Zimbardo or Milgram.
Dr. Calhoun was an extremely famous ethologist who studied mainly behavior of mice and rats at the National Institutes of Health (USA). The most important experiments were conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. One of most shocking experiments performed by the behavioral researcher is known as the Mouse Utopia Experiment.
During the experiment, a group of eight mice were living in ideal environmental conditions. The utopian universe provided rodents with unlimited access to everything necessary for the animals to survive. The mice were provided with food, water, and nesting material. Everything was available at their paw tips.
Although the beginning of the experiment seems ordinary, the course of the study, as well as the results, are quite astonishing.
What exactly did the experiment look like?
The four pairs of mice were living in an enclosed square area of 2.57m x 2.57m. They had the already mentioned unlimited access to food, water, and materials needed to build nests. The resources were calculated in such way that the mice could live without “worrying” about anything until reaching the number of 3840 rodents.
Other aspects of their lives were also taken care of.
The temperature was maintained at 20-30°C and it would change depending on the month. The inhabitants of the utopian universe enjoyed delicate and pleasant wind generated by a fan. Every four to eight weeks the whole area was cleaned out, removing the leftovers, excrement, and other municipal waste.
The sterility was also maintained, so the mice were free from any serious diseases. No predators had access to the mouse utopia; therefore, the animals didn’t have to fight for their lives.
Basically, the animals were living in paradise. They were safe, full, warm, and their houses were cleaned. Actually, they didn’t have to do a thing.
The Calhoun experiment lasted four years and it was divided into four phases. In order to retain symmetry I will provide you with details in four sections.
PHASE A  0-104 DAYS
Four pairs of mice were placed in the enclosed area.
Considerable social turmoil was noticed during the first 104 days. The mice were slowly trying to get used to each other as well as to adjust to the incredibly luxurious surroundings.
PHASE B  104-315 DAYS
During this period, social development was observed. The population doubled every 55 days on average until it reached 620 mice. The pace was quick. Whenever the litters reached sexual maturity they were becoming parents themselves.
There was some disproportion in the number of births in certain units, however. In some sectors as many as 111 litters were born; in others there were only 13 (eight times less).
Where does the difference come from?
The birth rate depended on the domination of males occupying particular units. The more active males were impregnating more females than their passive colleagues.
As the population grew, the best habitual units were being occupied by organized social groups. The Dionysian attitude of the participants in the experiment resulted in the increase of the number of young mice, which in turn surpassed the number of old mice three times by the end of the third phase.
That was the first sign suggesting that things may take an unexpected course. It is impossible to observe such a high birth rate in a natural mouse environment because the majority of litters simply die during their first days of life.
However, it was the phenomena observed in phase C of the experiment that were later discussed worldwide for decades.
PHASE C  315-560 DAYS
In phase C, slower population growth was noticed. The population now doubled every 145 days in contrast to just 55 days in the previous phase . This atypical behavior among the mice of the utopian universe was observed.
In a natural environment (even though the number of litters is lower than in the experiment) most young mice reach maturity. As a consequence, there are more mice than there are available positions within the hierarchy of a particular group. When this happens, those who can’t find a position in the mice society will emigrate.
However, there was no place to emigrate to during the experiment.
In the utopian experiment, many young mice were competing for a limited number of social positions. Those who failed to win the mouse race were dominated by other members of society in quite a dramatic manner.
The outcast mice would gather in the less attractive units of the utopian universe and withdraw from social interaction with other mice. Their position became so insignificant that their presence would not even provoke attacks from dominating males.
Nevertheless, their bodies were covered with wounds and scars.
These wounds weren’t the result of fights with other mice to attain a better social position though. They were from internal fights within the outcast group. From time to time one of the males would attack a chosen victim who had lost the ability to run away or fight back. After some time the victim would turn into the aggressor, accelerating spiral of violence by attacking other mice.
Not only were changes observed at the bottom of the social ladder, but also at the very top. The most territorial males were facing great challenges.
Even though certain mice failed in this mouse race, huge numbers of young rodents were still fighting for their own territory. Even the most combative males had difficulty fighting back against so many aggressors. The mouse universe was shrinking, and the intensity of defensive reactions was decreasing.
Due to the trouble in establishing the role of dominant male, peculiar changes in the behavior of female mice was observed.
The lack of guaranteed security made the nursing females more susceptible to potential attacks. Despite the fact that nursing females rarely involved themselves in aggressive situations in a natural environment, they were actually becoming the main aggressors in this experiment. They were often taking over the role of dominant males.
This aggression quickly spread to their own young. The nursing females often forced their young to leave home long before they become independent. The litters were attacked and severely wounded by the females also during labour.
By midway in phase C, almost all young were prematurely rejected by their mothers. These rejected mice started an independent life with no experience in social interaction or building relationships. Even when they did try to socially interact, life in a highly populated universe meant their efforts went unnoticed by other mice. The maternal, aggression, or love instincts were not developed at all. Great numbers of females didn’t get pregnant during their entire lifetime.
A new and unusual group of males called the beautiful ones formed.
These mice were never engaging themselves in fighting or sexual approaches towards females; thus, their fur was nicely groomed. Their behavioral repertoire was confined to eating, drinking, sleeping, and grooming. The beautiful ones were also avoiding any potentially risky types of behavior.
At the end of phase C, the typical, organized mice society no longer existed.
PHASE D  560-1588 DAYS
Population growth slowed drastically on day 560 after colonization. A small number of mice born before day 600 survived their childhood. The population was ageing very quickly. Three years after commencing the experiment, the average mouse lifespan was 776 days. That’s the equivalent of 80 human years.
Three months later only 122 mice were living in the society. The majority of the last half of the population constituted non-reproducing females and attractive, uninterested-in-sex males. Only two groups in reproductive age were left; however, they weren’t able to reproduce.
After time the population become extinct.
Dr. Halsey Marsden (1972, as cited in: Calhoun, 1973) carried out a similar experiment in which the mice from phase D were placed in a new and not overpopulated environment. Despite the better living conditions, these mice were not able to create an organized society. They lost the ability to reproduce and didn’t present a significant amount of sexual behaviors. The experiences of these mice within the “utopian society” resulted in the lack of ability to create a normal life outside of it.
What are the typical conclusions from this so-called “utopian” experiment?
TYPICAL CONCLUSIONS
The disappearance of masculinity in modern world (as seen in “the beautiful ones.”)
Social exclusion makes victims extremely aggressive ( similar to the “rejected” mice living in the centre of the utopia.)
The extinction of society resulting from prosperity (as seemed to happen by the end of the whole experiment.)
Aggressive women taking over the role of men when there are no strong men around (as seen in the aggressive female mice.)
The need to provide the new generation with decent workplaces or otherwise the whole generation will go to waste (similar to the disproportion of young and old people within the mice society.)
These are things that first come to mind after reading about this experiment. And these were the first thoughts that came to my mind too.
However, the “utopian experiment” does not actually support these ideas, and potential implications for our own society.
I will let Calhoun explain himself.
CALHOUN’S CONCLUSIONS
According to Calhoun, such phenomena may take place in societies where the older generations live longer than usual and the population growth is still within normal limits. The elderly do not die fast enough, and the younger generations wait impatiently to take over certain social roles. The competition between generations becomes much more severe.
After time, the old and the young start behaving in a way they would never do in the wild . Along with behavioral changes, the organization of society declines.
The rejection of young by their mothers and other adults creates an additional problem. The lack of opportunities to develop adequate affective bonds in childhood has a negative effect later on in life. Rather than intense, long-term relationships with a small family unit, shallow, short, and partial relations with a large number of others in the group, can lead to serious behavioral challenges.
The products of such living conditions are autistic-like individuals only capable of social behaviors necessary to survive. They are not able to do what typical mice do; i.e. engage in courtship, protect territory, take care of the young, create and be part of intragroup and intergroup hierarchy.
This lack of complex behaviors leads to the demise of the population.
Summing up, according to Calhoun, the reason for the above-mentioned result is too few or attractive social roles, and the decay of close and intensive relationships observed in early childhood. Overpopulation is the genesis of these two phenomena. Not the abundance of resources.
WHAT IS THE EXPERIMENT ABOUT THEN?
Only few people quoting this experiment understand its message.
Despite the popular name of the experiment, Calhoun failed to create utopian conditions. Quite the opposite, the main purpose of the experiment was to observe the reaction of mice when living in an overpopulated society. In order to create an actual utopian environment, the whole living area should have been enlarged before the start of phase C.
When thinking about human populations, the reason for extinction would not be prosperity but overpopulation. Those who think that prosperity spoils humans should visit the poorest countries in the world and see what people are able to do to provide their families with food and money.
However, here we are dealing with a much more significant question. Can we actually apply the results of the experiment to humans?
When discussing the experiment’s results with other researchers, Calhoun was referring to overpopulated Calcutta; the citizens of which seemed devoid of hope, capable of only simple behaviors. However, cities such as Hong Kong or Singapore are also overpopulated, but include examples of well-organized, prosperous, and active societies.
Jonathan Freedman , a scientist who was also interested in the subject matter of Calhoun’s experiment, was studying the negative impact of overpopulation on humans. It turns out there is no negative impact at all. Freedman suggested that it is not the overpopulation but the uncontrolled social interactions that are problematic. Subsequent experiments showed that the lack of privacy leads to a higher stress level and “overpopulation” feeling (Freedman, 1975).
It should also be noted that humans, despite the number of similar biological and behavioral mechanisms, are a bit more complex creatures than mice. Human culture, which separates us from other animals, has an equally significant impact on the way we behave as biology does. If the culture had not had that impact our social interactions would still resemble – very natural and based on biology – behavior of the cavemen.
WHAT IS THE ACTUAL CONCLUSION?
Well, the shocking experiment outlined above does not describe the condition of our own society after all. Nevertheless, we should pay attention to the subsequent discoveries, and make sure we have our own private space to relax and recharge.
Also, when reading about different experiments, it is worth noting whether the author of the article provides a bibliography or other sources. I once read that bananas contain happiness hormones on a Polish equivalent of 9gag.com. Many websites often popularize content that is as emotional as it is simply unreliable, so it’s up to you to verify everything you read.
References
Calhoun, J. B. (1973). Death squared: the explosive growth and demise of a mouse population. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 66(1 Pt 2), 80.
Freedman, J. L. (1975). Crowding and behavior. WH Freedman.
Ramsden, E., & Adams, J. (2009). Escaping the laboratory: the rodent experiments of John B. Calhoun & their cultural influence. Journal of Social History, 42(3), 761-792.
https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2008/07_25_2008/story1.htm
SOURCE: http://imprific.com/budkowski/does-calhoun-experiment-reveal-the-condition-of-our-society/
Now do the same experiment and during phase D introduce a bunch of wild mice that come from a rough environment into the cage. Then you'll have Sweden.

The new comers will kill the "beautiful" male mice from the utopian cage and mass rape the agressive female mice which will actually become very receptive to the sexual aggression.
Taka
2017-07-05 00:33:58 UTC
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In 1950, an American ethologist named John Calhoun created a series of experiments to test the effects of overpopulation on the behaviour of social animals. The animals which Calhoun chose for his experiments where mice (and later on rats). He chose rodents as these reproduce rapidly thus allowing him to observe the development of several generations of mice in a relatively short space of time.

Calhoun and his researchers found that in a space-limited/resource unlimited environment, the population of mice would explode; peak-out and then collapse to extinction. This test was replicated several times and it was found that these led to the same outcome each time. The reason for this phenomenon was found to derived from social decay which worsened with each generation. The social decay led to unrest in the environment, which in turn led to sub replacement fertility. It was concluded that nature has a limit in which social animals can interact.

John Calhoun’s experiments gained world-wide recognition and his expertise was sought after by government bodies such as NASA. They present a useful yet grim insight into what could be our own future, for no matter how many times Calhoun repeated the experiment, the results led to the same inevitable conclusion: extinction.
The Experiment

His team created a comfortable environment ideal for the mice. This was achieved by fitting a pen (box-shaped enclosure) with unlimited food and water. The room had space for up to 3000 mice. The room was closed off so that neither the mice could get out nor predators get in. By removing the risk of predation, the mice could grow in an environment free from external stress. The room was then compartmentalised into different units, this allowed Calhoun to identify how different social groupings formed.

Four pairs of mice were screened for diseases (four male and four female). Upon verifying that they were healthy they were introduced into the enclosure.

Calhoun observed the mice population over the course of the experiment. He noted down behavioural changes and population numbers. He found that there were four distinct phases of population change observed during the experiment. The first stage, named “Strive”, was a phase in which the mice explored and adjusted to their new habitat, set territories and created nests.

The second stage was named the ”exploit period”. During this stage the mice population exploded. Calhoun observed that some compartments became more populated than others, and therefore some units used more resources. It was also observed that some units started to become crowded.

The third phase was named the ”equilibrium phase”. During this phase, the mice population peaked at 2200 individuals, although there was space for 3000. During the third phase Calhoun observed the collapse of the mice civilisation. He noted that the new generations were inhibited since most space was already socially defined.

The mice showed different types of social dysfunctions. Some mice became violent. Males fought each other for acceptance, those that where defeated withdrew. Some males became repeated targets of attacks.

Calhoun had noted during his experiments:

“Many [female mice] were unable to carry pregnancy to full term, or to survive delivery of their litters if they did. An even greater number, after successfully giving birth, fell short in their maternal functions. Amongst the males the behaviour disturbances ranged from sexual deviation to cannibalism and from frenetic over-activity to a pathological withdrawal from which individuals would emerge to eat, drink and move about only when other members of the community were asleep. The social organisation of the animals showed equal disruption…”

[…]

“The common source of these disturbances became most dramatically apparent in the populations of our first series of three experiments, in which we observed the development of what we called a behavioural sink. The animals would crowd together in greatest number in one of the four interconnecting pens in which the colony was maintained. As many as 60 of the 80 mice in each experimental population would assemble in one pen during periods of feeding. Individual mice would rarely eat except in the company of other mice. As a result extreme population densities developed in the pen adopted for eating, leaving the others with sparse populations.”

[…]

“…In the experiments in which the behavioural sink developed, infant mortality ran as high as 96 percent among the most disoriented groups in the population.” – John Calhoun

Newer generations born in the now dysfunctional mouse utopia became withdrawn, spending their days grooming obsessively and dedicating their time solely to eating , drinking and sleeping. This generation, for all the emphasis they placed on grooming, would not reproduce. Moreover, these mice were noted to be unintelligent compared to previous generations.

“…the limit Calhoun imposed on his population [of mice] was space — and as the population grew, this became increasingly problematic. As the pens heaved with animals, one of his assistants described the rodent utopia as having become hell.”

The fourth phase was the decline. In this phase the population plummeted. The last mouse died 600 days after the experiment began.

What Can Humans Learn From Mice?

The limiting factor of Calhoun’s experiment’s was space. As time transpired, the mice passed on the negative behavioural attitudes to the next generation, and these, subsequently passed them on to the next generation, with the addition of new unsocial attitudes. What is it that makes space, and lack there off, such a decisive factor in the development of social animals? And what are the consequences for population condensation?

Notice how the evolution of the behaviours displayed by the mice, parallel those of the people of Easter Island, as explored by Quintus Curtius in his ROK article The Power Of Choice. The people of Easter Island are a historical example of a human version of the mice utopia experiment:

“When humans first arrived there about A.D 900, it [Easter Island] was densely forested, and was capable of sustaining numerous tribes and a relatively high population.”

The conditions of the islanders were similar to that of Calhoun’s mice. On an isolated island, with a lush environment, a group of humans settlers arrived on boats to Easter Island. The settlers could thrive with almost endless resources without natural predators nor external factors of stress.

With time, the island became over populated. Quintus explains what befell the Islanders:

“The islanders then began to compete with each other more and more fiercely for an ever-declining volume of natural resources; vendettas multiplied, intertribal warfare flared, and a pall of hostility and fear descended on the island. As the trees vanished, the islanders were unable to build boats to escape to other islands: they became trapped in their own hell, doomed to fight each other in perpetuity for the last crumbs that the barren land could offer. Eventually the islanders began to starve, and feed—literally—off each other. As wild meats became unavailable, and escape off the island became impossible, the natural consequences followed. Cannibalism stalked the island, animating its folklore and infecting its archaeological sites. Perhaps the islanders compensated for their misery by focusing more and more on the empty ritual of building and raising statutes, as their means of sustenance melted away.”

This is reminiscent of the ”behavioural sink” observed in the mouse utopia. It also resembles the abhorrent behaviours observed in Calhoun’s experiments resemble several shocking stories from recent times. Is it be possible that it’s social decay rather than a shortage of food that led the people of Easter Island to near extinction?

There are natural limitations on the degrees of social interaction we can manage on a daily basis, just like with the mice. In humans this is referred to as “Dunbar’s number“, and it has been observed to be true in social media sites.

Whilst it could be argued that this could not happen to humans; as we have large swathes of unpopulated land, it has to be noted that at the peak population, only half the colony space was being used. The mice had a tendency to congregate and overpopulate certain sectors of space, something reminiscent of modern day cities.
Modern Cases Of Behavioural Sinks In Humans

It is hard to compare the mouse utopia to the human world because, for obvious reasons, there is no human version of the mouse utopia experiment. Experiments are carried under controlled conditions to mitigate sources of error. However we can compare modern adverse trends in human society to the behavioural sink observed in the mouse utopia experiment. Below are some examples of behavioural sinks in Humans compared to those of the mice utopia.
Population Condensation

Case Study: Germany (Also applicable to: Spain, Japan.)

The first sign of trouble in the mice pen was the crowding observed in some of the units.

In Germany, the Spiegel reports of a growing problem of population condensation in it’s large cities and of ghost towns in rural areas. Rents are soaring in Munich and Hamburg while in other cities apartments stand abandoned.

Whilst this example is not a perfect representation of the mouse utopia, we can make some comparisons. The mice pen was compartmentalised. Similarly, Germany is divided into several regions all with ample resources. In Germany, some regions are becoming more crowded, this is driven by labour demand in some regions and lack of labour demand in others.

Prediction: I predict that as cities become crowded, some of the behaviours observed by Calhoun will become apparent. These will include social unrest and lower fertility rates.

Population condensation was a major cause of social unrest in the mouse utopia. Time will tell if this will be the case in Germany.
Depopulation (failure to achieve replacement fertility)

World wide phenomenon.

Case Study: Republic of Korea [South Korea], Japan

The main correlation between the mouse utopia experiment and our times is depopulation.

Depopulation led to the extinction of the mice. It is fascinating yet terrifying to think that without the hardships of life, a species cannot survive. If we think about this from a human perspective, we see that our struggle for survival unites us as a species. Without hardship our life’s become pointless and shallow.

If we look at South Korea’s fertility rate per woman, which stands at 1.24, we can predict that this nation of 50 million will peak out by 2017. From there the population is expected to decrease to decrease to 42 Million by 2050.

The source of this decline is lack of jobs and thus lack of income needed to rear children. Like in many other nations, the job ladder is stuck as older people retire later in life. South Korea, like Japan, had a booming job’s market which guaranteed lifetime employment. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The job’s from the cities attracted many away from the country side and created a population concentration in cities such as Seoul.

Depopulation presents our species with an ever-growing problem since sub replacement fertility is becoming more prevalent in the developed world.

If we look at Japan, we see that Japan now faces a precipitous depopulation. Depopulation is estimated to drive Japan’s population to 87 million, down from 127 million by 2050. In economic terms it would be catastrophic as Japan’s has an advance welfare state like that of the United Kingdom and depends on having a larger tax base than a retiree base. The problem is getting so out of hand in Japan that the Japanese government is even considering immigration (a big no-no over there).

Sub replacement fertility is also being noted in the Republic of Korea, Spain, Germany, China, Russia, US, UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Depopulation is likely to be an effect of the social breakdown and not a cause.
Senseless Aggression

Word wide phenomenon.

Case Study: Easter Island.

Aggression is an obvious aspect in both the mice utopia and the East Island case. It is also easily comparable to our society in present day. Whilst violence has always existed amongst our species, this had always been attributed to a range of factors such as poverty or inter-tribal warfare (aggression due to lack or resources) and not as a factor of population condensation (aggression despite of abundant resources).

The first signs of trouble in the mice utopia were male mice fighting for acceptance. This appears to have led a spiral of other societal problems.

“…there where three times as young mice aspiring to enter social groups as there were vacancies in socially established groups…”

Aggression is the cause of the societal breakdown. What was the cause of the aggression? As observed, a lack of space, both physically and socially, which sets into motion a series of events that led to the outcome of extinction.
Breakdown Of Gender Roles

Developed world phenomenon.

Case Study: USA, Japan

At ROK, we place a large importance on gender roles. Looking at this subject from a perspective of another species may give us some further insight on the topic. We have observed that depopulation is an effect, so what is the cause? Perhaps there is more than one cause. The behavioural sink observed in the mouse utopia showed several abnormal social behaviours.

In the male mice, a limited space and a boom in population caused the males to fight more to be accepted. Since not all mice can be alpha males, the losers withdrew. With excess males fighting for dominance, older males gave up, leaving the females to fend for the family. These would then become increasingly aggressive and some even began attacking their own offspring.

Calhoun noted that as time progressed “…mothers fell short of maternal expectations”. In recent years there have been an increasing amount of cases [1], [2], [3], [4] of child neglect and abuse by human mothers that have made it to national headlines. It is not hard to speculate that there are many more we have not heard. In Australia, police have released data that attribute half of the nation’s infanticides to their mothers.

Since these are the more notorious cases which the media publishes, the less extreme cases go unnoticed, under reported or unreported in the media (in the last few decades there have been a string of stories in the media, which when examined as a whole tells us that women are starting to lose their natural instincts for nurture). We know that women in developed nations are suppressing maternal instincts, either intrinsically or extrinsically. It is also becoming more common for women to seek a sex-fueled lifestyle, something that was also observed in the mouse utopia.

“…the mice became more promiscuous…mice would roam around attacking others or mounting them irrespective of gender…”

“…phase C, the incidence of conception in females declined and the resorption in foetuses increased. Maternal behaviour was disrupted. Some mothers in desperate searches for quieter areas abandoned young that fell on the way…” – Tragedy in Mouse Utopia, Dr.J.R Vallentine

As the behaviour in the pen deteriorated, females would abandon their offspring leaving them to fend for themselves. With no parents around to teach them how to be well adjusted mice,

“…prematurely rejected, first by their fathers, then by their mothers, and then by established groups in the community, the young grew up without knowing how to behave, personally or socially as mice…” – Tragedy in Mouse Utopia, Dr.J.R Vallentine

Gender roles are vital in a social species, without that the break down of these lead to sub replacement fertility, depopulation, and finally, extinction.
Withdrawal

Case Study: Japan

“Individuals would only emerge to eat and sleep when the rest were asleep.” When I read this, the first thing that came to my mind was the Hikikomori. It’s a term used to refer to a reclusive adolescent who is too introverted to function in society. These youth are so socially inept that they shut themselves indoors and only venture out at night to stock up on groceries. This is a phenomenon that has been occurring for 20 years but that is only recently coming to light in Japan.

The Hikikomori are estimated to number a million. Something that has alarmed the Japanese government who have been unable to tackle an issue they do not fully understand. In Japan, an entire generation of young Japanese have been born into a society in where all space is already socially defined just like in the mice utopia were “the new generations were inhibited since most space was socially defined”.

However this trend is not exclusive to Japan. Japan is however a very close approximation to a mice utopia experiment for humans just like Easter island. Under stress, these boys (and men) have been impaired by a stressed and dysfunctional society. Withdrawal is a cause for depopulation and the effect of an over stressed society which is in turn caused by the behavioural sink.
The Beautiful Ones

Case Study: Japan

There is another social ill in Japan that is comparable to Calhoun’s mice. These are the grass eaters (Soshoku kei Danshi ) of Japan. The term, “grass eater”, refers to males who have no interests in seeking relationships with the opposite sex. The media and the manosphere has confused these guys with whatever pre-conceptions they may have had. For example, the BBC documentary “No Sex please, we are Japanese“, explores the phenomenon with bias and poor journalism. So to ensure we don’t fall for the same pre-conceptions allow me to reiterate that the grass eaters are men who have no interest in pursuing relationships with the opposite sex. They are not homosexuals, asexual’s, otaku nor Hikikomori.

The difference between grass eaters and the Hikikomori is that the Soshoku kei Danshi are withdrawing from relationships and the Hikikomori are withdrawing from society all together. Grass eaters are not asexual, the prefer the vast array of porn available to them. Many grass eaters, although not all, are metro-sexual. These are guys who spend a lot of time and money into personal grooming. Once again this is not applicable to all grass eaters.

Some grass eaters show resemblance to the “Beautiful ones”, spending their time “…[obsessively] grooming, eating and sleeping….[and]…not reproducing”. The correlation appears to be that individuals are not conforming to a stressed societal model and are opting out of relationships and a male gender role. The grass eaters have become so numerous that is has pushed some Japanese girls to initiate the courtship. This phenomenon is most pronounced in Japan but is applicable to other developed nations.

In the Republic of Korea, 10% of men wear make up. In other developed nations, the “beautiful ones” are the vapid and shallow celebrity and beautify obsessed youth. It is possible that grass eaters could become a cause of depopulation and that is caused by the behavioural sink.
Conclusion

The mice utopia experiment presents us with a stark vision of our present and our future. As time progresses we will see more evidence that we are heading for a decline in population which is largely driven by social decay.

Through history we have developed an anthropocentric world view. This is folly. Humans are animals—highly advanced animals, yet animals nonetheless. Regardless of what we may think of ourselves, or how we may try to dissociate ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom, the rules of nature that apply to mice often apply to us. Not learning or accepting the results of these experiments can only be detrimental for us as a species.

Social animals appear to be regulated by intrinsic behavioural factors. The question is if there is a nature kill switch for a species that has no predators. Calhoun concluded that the stress from social interaction caused the disturbances in behaviour seen in his experiments. If we truly stand apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, we ought to be able to avoid the same pitfalls. What is certain is that unless humans collectively apply some soul-searching, we will fall for the mouse trap.

SOURCE: http://www.returnofkings.com/36915/what-humans-can-learn-from-the-mice-utopia-experiment
Taka
2017-07-16 13:53:04 UTC
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Raw Message
After reaching the puberty, men have just one mode of existence - seek and compete for the best female mates and fertilize them, one after another, and this gets sometimes bloody while fighting the rivals and men naturally die in a fight when the aging weakens them, not in a hospital by the chemotherapy drugs... On the other hand, females have two modes of existence after reaching the puberty - breed with the winner men or nurse and protect their kids (progeny) and these two modes of existence are switched by a special hormone. Andropause is a scam while the menopause gives the tribe survival advantage as the grandmas help nursing their daughter's progeny after they wean off. Computers/smartphones and the megacities screw this up producing fags, castrates and hospital zombies kept alive by the social system. The modern fertilizer rich and nutrient deficient foods combined with the "technologies" and life in overcrowded megacities produce what we have seen in the mouse utopia experiment. We are heading for extinction unless either re-engineering of the human DNA code or outer space colonization occur...
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