"Calhoun (1962) has also found deterioration of group behaviors including mating, care of the young, and nest building among laboratory rats that became overcrowded in a small portion of their living space. Calhoun interpreted these data in terms of learning and frustration (blocking) of learned responses. specifically, he hypothesized that the rats became social feeders which led them to eat frequently, but only for very brief periods, that is, because of the presence of a central food supply each rat ate whenever another rat was observed to be eating. This interfered with the completion of other ongoing behaviors such as nesting, mating, and care of the young. Calhoun called this abnormal social situation a "behavioral sink." These data suggest some of the complexities of behavior of animals in groups in terms of the variables affecting them and their changing form."Calhoun, J.B. (1962). Behavioral sink. In E. L. Bliss (Ed.), _Roots of Behvavior_, New York: Hayser.
This paper has intrigued this Oldrightie for most of his adult life. The similarities in deterioration of behavior in diet, mating, care of the young and so on have, for me, such resonance in human activity today. It has recently been argued that future conflict will be about water and land (space) shortage. Are we seeing those issues now? Mass migration, more often to cities throughout the world, brings automatic competition for space and resources. In Britain, a small land mass is now severely overpopulated in respect of sustainability. We refer to sink estates. Is this subliminal for "sink behaviour"?
If we accept all of this premise, what's to do? A natural reaction will happen if people do not respond with major effort to address overcrowding/overpopulation. We will starve in the future, the planet will not support the total dominance of one species.
Yet back to today. Give people a decent life in their own lands. Disperse populations to vast land masses and restrict movement of humans in favour of logistical trade, fairly targeted. Rocket science? I think not.