When the Minnesota group was originally convened, a strong group spirit developed quickly with humor, lively conversations, group planning of activities and interest in developing policies and rules. It was a happy and tolerant bunch of guys. Gradually as the semi-starvation period developed, they became reluctant to plan activities, often expressed a reluctance to deal with others because it was too much of a bother, withdrew and became self-centered. Social interactions changed from spontaneous to stilted and artificially polite. They talked mostly about food, hunger, and weight loss. They became more irritable, verbally testy, moody, and even violent. Scapegoating and bullying developed. Environmental manipulation would at times produce highs and lows. Previously planned efforts, especially educational ones, were left abandoned.
It should be no surprise that just as there were substantial effects on physical and psychological dimensions of the 32 male subjects there were also marked effects on social interactions and organization produced by semi-starvation.