Animal Psychology Social Behavior

Psychonomic Science

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 27-28

First online:

Early-handling and social-rearing effects on dominance-subordination behavior in the adult rat

  • Gilbert BeckerAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba
  • , Gerard EzingaAffiliated withUniversity of Manitoba


Effects of early handling and social rearing on dominance behavior were studied using the method of fixed-pair comparisons. Handled rats (in competition with nonhandled controls) were dominant, especially where both competitors were raised in social isolation. Socially-raised rats (in competition with isolation-raised rats) were dominant but only where both competitors were early-handled.