The Snarls and Sneers That Keep Violence at Bay

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Science  28 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5479, pp. 576-577
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5479.576

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The ability to mete out violence appears to be linked to survival in the animal kingdom. But a handful of researchers is now making a persuasive case that scores are settled far more often by subtle, nonviolent signals such as a curled lip or a snarl. Their provocative idea is that inflicting violence on a member of one's own species is a pathological condition that arises when these signals are missed or misinterpreted.