Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun & Their Cultural Influence

@article{Ramsden2009EscapingTL,
  title={Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun \& Their Cultural Influence},
  author={Edmund Ramsden and John Benjamin Adams},
  journal={Journal of Social History},
  year={2009},
  volume={42},
  pages={761 - 792}
}
In John B. Calhoun's early crowding experiments, rats were supplied with everything they needed—except space. The result was population boom, followed by such severe psychological disruption that the animals died off to extinction. The take-home message was that crowding resulted in pathological behavior—in rats and by extension in humans. For those pessimistic about Earth's "carrying capacity," the macabre spectacle of this "behavioral sink" was a compelling symbol of the problems awaiting… 

Figures from this paper

Rat Cities and Beehive Worlds: Density and Design in the Modern City
Nestled among E. M. Forster's careful studies of Edwardian social mores is a short story called “The Machine Stops.” Set many years in the future, it is a work of science fiction that imagines all
Contesting the "territorial aggression thesis" in environmental psychology, ca. 1965-1980.
  • Annukka Sailo
  • Psychology
    Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
  • 2018
TLDR
It is shown how environmental psychologists were inspired by the fashion around the claimed relevance of human territoriality for the large-scale social problems, such as aggression, war and population growth, in the latter part of the 1960s.
The Brave New World of Rem Koolhaas
In 1972, Rem Koolhaas presented his thesis project at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. The work was a collaboration of four authors: Koolhaas himself, architect Elia
Model Organisms and Model Environments: A Rodent Laboratory in Science, Medicine and Society
TLDR
Experimental organisms are systems that have been engineered and modified to enable the controlled investigation of specific phenomena, yet at the same time they remain largely mysterious products of millennia of evolution, whose behaviours, structures, and physiology are for the most part still relatively ill-understood by scientists.
How the Modern Synthesis Came to Ecology.
  • P. Huneman
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2019
TLDR
This paper considers five stages through which the Synthesis was integrated into ecology and distinguish between various ways in which a possible integration was gained.
The Neural Circuit Architecture of Social Hierarchy in Rodents and Primates
TLDR
Comparing and integrating findings from rodent and primate studies is compared to create a model of the neural and cellular networks supporting social hierarchies, both from a macro (i.e., circuits) to a micro-scale perspective (microcircuits and synapses).
DEAD SPOTS IN THE CASE OF KITTY GENOVESE
In her article ‘Notes on Gridlock’, Elizabeth A. Povinelli asks ‘Why does the recognition of peoples’ worth, of their human and civil rights, always seem to be hanging on the more or less fragile
The social psychology of spatiality and crowding
This thesis applies self-categorization theory (SCT) to the behavioural and experiential dimensions of spatiality and crowding. A literature review in Chapter 2 will highlight the study of ‘personal
Universum 25 – das Calhoun-Experiment
John B. Calhouns Experiment „Universum 25“ war die Fortsetzung einer Reihe verhaltensbiologischer Experimente an Mäusen und Ratten zur Überbevölkerung. Der Versuchsaufbau war konzeptioniert, um
Reserved for the Whole Earth: Forms of Evidence, Ought Anxiety, and the Futures of Geographic Inquiry
OF DISSERTATION RESERVED FOR THE WHOLE EARTH: FORMS OF EVIDENCE, OUGHT ANXIETY, AND THE FUTURES OF GEOGRAPHIC INQUIRY This dissertation examines geographic forms of evidence in the practices of
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 238 REFERENCES
Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population
  • J. B. Calhoun
  • Economics
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • 1973
TLDR
It is hoped that if to achieve successful regulation in the future the authors shall have to be ready to use and to accept control in matters of population and environment, and the need for such control should not alarm us, if it is properly based on information and feed-back.
The Naked Ape
lofty code of moral principles, when in reality all we are doing is obeying a deeply ingrained and long 'forgotten' set of purely imitative impressions. It is the unmodifiable obedience to these
The State of Nature: Ecology, Community, and American Social Thought, 1900-1950
TLDR
The relationship between issues in early twentieth-century American society and the sciences of evolution and ecology is examined to reveal how explicit social and political concerns influenced the scientific agenda of biologists at the University of Chicago and throughout the United States during the first half of this century.
The Social Consequences of High Population Density
The man who participates in decisions about urban affairs today seems a most unreasonably imposed-upon fellow. Not only is he called upon to be comfortable in both of C. P. Snow's two cultures (on
THE STUDY OF WILD ANIMALS UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS
In the course of studying taste discrimination in rats, Dr. Curt Richter gave some of his rats small amounts of alpha-naphtha-thio-urea. This substance, more simply designated ANTU, rather than
When rabbits became humans (and humans, rabbits): stability, order, and history in the study of populations
TLDR
This paper examines several interlinked episodes in the history of “population” as an organizing concept in 20th century science, tracking the transfer of facts from rabbit populations to human populations (and vice versa) through economics, infectious disease modelling, and macro-histories.
Population density and social pathology.
TLDR
Females raised in the crowded pens of Norway rats did not regain their nest-building and nurturing ability even when transferred to uncrowded living quarters.
The Illustrated Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal
When The Naked Ape was published in 1967 a new phrase entered the English language and many other languages besides. Desmond Morris's unique treatment of homo sapiens caught the imagination of the
The naked ape : a zoologist's study of the human animal
Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal - in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socialising,
Crowding and behavior
Based on research conducted over the past 5 or 6 years it has been concluded that 1) high density crowding generally does not have negative effects on humans and 2) high density does have effects on
...
...