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July 09, 2020 - Raw Story

Rat pack: rodents feel peer-pressure to be helpful, says study

Rat pack: rodents feel peer-pressure to be helpful, says study
Rat FriendsFile Photo / © Photabulous!

Rats are less likely to assist a fellow rodent in need if other members of their group are being unhelpful, according to a study that sheds new light on the so-called “bystander effect.”

Peggy Mason, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago and the senior author, told AFP the findings helped explain certain human behaviors such as why police officers fail to intervene when one of their own is engaging in brutality.

In an experiment published in Science Advances on Wednesday, scientists found that when a rat encountered a distressed peer in a restrainer, they were generally interested in opening a door and rescuing them.

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