The Scientific Disciplines of Animal Behavior
Much of the debate bteween (and within) scientific disciplines associated
with the study of animal behavior are related to the controversy over which
is more important Nature or Nurture? (Note that frequently
the environment places limits on how fully a trait may develop.)
Phenotype= Genetics + Environment + (G x E interaction)
- ethos (Greek meaning character or traits).
- ethogram (complete behavioral vocabulary of a species).
- emphasis on genetic bases of behavior (as oppposed to the psychological,
environmental, or learned bases of behavior).
- emphasized behavior as a genetically adaptive trait (those animals
with genes that 'caused or allowed' behavior which was better suited to
a given environment left more offspring who also possessed the genes that
produced the adapted behavior. The behavior became an adaptation.)
- North American discipline within psychology
- emphasis on the environmental bases of behavior
- well developed principles of learning theory (learning is a
change in the behavior of an animal as the result of experience).
- a) Classical conditioning (Pavlovian conditioning)
|food (uncond. stim.)
|bell + food
|bell (conditioned stimulus)
||salivation (conditioned response)
- b) Operant Conditioning- an animal performs a behavior (response)
and is either rewarded (reinforced) in a positive or negative manner.
- c) Others: Sociobiology, Comparative Psychology, Cognition,
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