PSYC 1100 Section 2.2 Animal Behavior and Ethology

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  1. Animal Behavior and Ethology
    • - the area of biology that studies animal behavior
    • -ethologists focus upon evolutionary processes (i.e. natural selection), and behavior in a naturalistic environment
    • -behavior is viewed as important factor contributing to survival, and to natural selection
  2. Fixed Action Patterns (FAPs)
    • a sequence of behaviors elicited in the same way each time the organism is exposed to the releasing stimulus
    • - term FAP meant to replace "instinct"
    • - FAPs are species typical
    • - related species can have similar FAPs
    • - FAPs are stereotyped
    • - FAPs are ritualized; through evolution, behavior patterns can take on symbolic content

    • Examples of FAPs:
    • -Imprinting
    • -Retrieval¬†
    • -Attack
    • -Courtship
    • -Threat
    • -Communication
  3. Human FAPs
    • According to ethologists, many forms of human social behavior reflect the influence of FAPs on our behavior
    • Emotional facial expressions-smile
    • Threat-clenched teeth, closed fists
    • Friendly greeting-raised eyebrows
    • Aspects of Courtship:
    • - flirting
    • - you look at someone and you look away
    • ... are some aspects of courtship a ritualized form of food sharing?
    • -demonstrating some type of bond, sign of lack of aggression
    • -bond establishing in courtships (sharing a cookie with the mouth)
    • -French kissing
    • -tongue play
    • -ads associated with their products give a positive attitude (wine bar ad)

    • Although traditional ethologists maintained that FAPs are completely innate, scientific evidence indicates that...
    • Early experience is of critical importance for development of FAPs
    • FAPs are strongly influenced by genetic factors (result in species specific behavior), yet there is some learning component
  4. Biological Constraints on Learning
    • - 'preparedness' certain species are prepared to learn some things easily
    • - e.g. conditioned taste aversion - animals learn how to avoid tastes associated with later sickness; a powerful form of conditioning and doesn't require multiple training; birds also avoid food based on color that is associated with being sick; the conditioning isn't necessarily ¬†directly related to the negative experience (the injected substance makes the mouse sick)
    • - e.g.¬†young rats and mice can easily learn to avoid averse stimuli by going into a dark area
    • - young children are capable of learning any language
  5. Modern-Day Variants of the Ethological Perspective
    • Sociobiology
    • Evolutionary Psychology
    • - these fields attempt to explain social behavior of animals, including humans, in terms of survival and reproductive value (e.g. aspects of physical attractiveness)
    • -face morphing example
    • -chimpanzees engage in tribal warfare
    • -bonobos are less aggressive and engage in more equality
Card Set:
PSYC 1100 Section 2.2 Animal Behavior and Ethology
2013-11-02 20:20:50

Sec 2.2
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