Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe

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Portrait c. 1930 from the Oslo Museum ThorleifSchjelderupEbbe.jpg
Portrait c. 1930 from the Oslo Museum

Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe (12 November 1894 in Kristiania – 8 June 1976 in Oslo) [1] was a Norwegian zoologist and comparative psychologist.

Oslo Capital of Norway

Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour. It was established as a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. The city functioned as a co-official capital during the 1814 to 1905 Union between Sweden and Norway. In 1877, the city's name was respelled Kristiania in accordance with an official spelling reform – a change that was taken over by the municipal authorities only in 1897. In 1925 the city, after incorporating the village retaining its former name, was renamed Oslo.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.



Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe described the pecking order of hens in his PhD dissertation of 1921. [2] The work in his dissertation was partly based on his observations of his own chickens that he had recorded since the age of 10. [3]

Pecking order

Pecking order or peck order is the colloquial term for the hierarchical system of social organization. It was first described by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1921 under the German terms Hackordnung or Hackliste and introduced into English in 1927.

The dominance hierarchy of chickens and other birds that he studied led him to the observation that these birds had established the order in which individuals would be allowed to get to food while others would have to wait for their turn.

Dominance hierarchy is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of a social group interact, to create a ranking system. In social living groups, members are likely to compete for access to limited resources and mating opportunities. Rather than fighting each time they meet, relative rank is established between members of the same sex. Based on repetitive interactions a social order is created that is subject to change each time a dominant animal is challenged by a subordinate one.

Chicken Domesticated bird, primarily a source of food

The chicken is a type of domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the red junglefowl. It is one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, with a total population of more than 19 billion as of 2011. There are more chickens in the world than any other bird or domesticated fowl. Humans keep chickens primarily as a source of food and, less commonly, as pets. Originally raised for cockfighting or for special ceremonies, chickens were not kept for food until the Hellenistic period.

Personal life

He was the son of sculptors Axel Emil Ebbe (1868–1941) and Menga Schjelderup (1871–1945). He was married to Torbjørg Brekke. Their son was Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe, a musicologist, composer, music critic and biographer.

Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe was a Norwegian musicologist, composer, music critic and biographer. He was a lecturer at the University of Oslo for thirty years, from 1973 with the title of professor. His research mainly centered on the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.


Carl Allanmore Murchison (1887–1961) was an American psychologist and an early promoter of the discipline of psychology. Unlike most psychologists who became prominent in the history books, Murchison was not an influential theorist or researcher. Instead, he was an extremely active organizer, publisher, and editor.

<i>The Journal of Social Psychology</i> journal

The Journal of Social Psychology is a bimonthly academic journal covering social psychology published by Routledge, who acquired it from Heldref Publications in 2009. The journal was established in 1929 by John Dewey and Carl Murchison. It covers all areas of basic and applied social psychology. The journal was subtitled Political, Racial and Differential Psychology until changing its name in 1949.


  1. Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe – utdypning (Norsk biografisk leksikon)
  2. Porter G. Perrin (1955) 'Pecking Order' 1927-54 American Speech, 30(4):265–268
  3. The Ape and the Sushi Master, Frans de Waal, 2001

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