The resident-intruder paradigm: a standardized test for aggression, violence and social stress

J Vis Exp. 2013 Jul 4:(77):e4367. doi: 10.3791/4367.


This video publication explains in detail the experimental protocol of the resident-intruder paradigm in rats. This test is a standardized method to measure offensive aggression and defensive behavior in a semi natural setting. The most important behavioral elements performed by the resident and the intruder are demonstrated in the video and illustrated using artistic drawings. The use of the resident intruder paradigm for acute and chronic social stress experiments is explained as well. Finally, some brief tests and criteria are presented to distinguish aggression from its more violent and pathological forms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Rats
  • Social Environment
  • Social Problems / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Violence / psychology*