Here is an interesting study about infants and how they develop social dominance. Five studies were done with 144 infant participants showing that 10 to 13-month-old use relative size to predict the outcome of a dominance contests. This correlation of social dominance and relative size is found almost universally with human cultures and with the animal kingdom.
“”Traditional kings and chieftains sit on large, elevated thrones and wear elaborate crowns or robes that make them look bigger than they really are, and subordinates often bow or kneel to show respect to superior humans and gods,” says Thomsen, a research fellow in Harvard’s Department of Psychology.” -from Science Daily–
The methods of the study were complicated as infants can’t just tell you what they are thinking. So they basically observed the infants reactions to different visual situations.
“The researchers showed infants videos depicting a large and a small block with eyes and mouth bouncing across a stage in opposite directions. Next, infants watched the two blocks meet in the middle, impeding one another’s progress. They then saw either the large or the small block bow and step aside, deferring to the other.” -from Science Daily–
On another Note:
This study also makes me think of how we chose our mates. Females usually want a man who is bigger than them, and males want a female who is smaller. I know as I grew up that my Dad was definitely the dominant one in the family, larger than my mother, and he set the rules and enforced them.