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The history of studying behaviour I Ethology vs. Comparative psychology Lorenz and fixed action patterns Aims - Look at what schools of thought have led to current understanding of animal behaviour and the main concepts the different schools have used. Main concept ethology
- study of behaviour in its natural environment. One of important features in in the 19th centuries, where modern way of studying behaviour came about through obvious interest in Darwins theory of natural selection, but prior to Darwin were other scientists such as Herbert Spencer who published Principles of Psychology in 1855 that looked at the evolutionary range of behaviours and emotions that could be expressed by animals. HS was principle psychologists. Psychology didn't exist until 1872, so HS based most of his work on Aristotles "scala naturae" - going from lower to higher animals there are greater range of behaviours and emotional states. Darwin published 1859, and theory had number of basic features within it - o Within a species there is variation and this is inherited o Most offspring produced do not survive to reproduce o Some live longer and reproduce as a consequence of their particular inherited characteristics and their traits are inherited o Natural selection is differential survival and reproduction of individuals that results from genetically-based variation in their behaviour, morphology, physiology etc o Evolutionary change occurs as the heritable traits of the successful individuals spreads throughout the population, whereas those of less successful individuals are lost Much of what led to study of behaviour in 20th century is understanding that genetics shapes behaviour and evolutionary change is important in understanding how behaviour came about. Figure 2.2 Romanes (influenced by Darwin) evo appearance of animals tried to tell by looking and examining behaviours by animals to work out what sort of emotions they are capable of experiencing and showing. Range starts with larvae of segemented worms which could show surprise and fear, molluscs can feel sexual feelings, fish exhibit jealousy and anger, ants, bees and wasps can be sympathetic........ range of emotions relating to different kinds of species. The ral basis for psychology startes with number of European scientists in 1920s-19603 eg Konrad Lorenz (Austrian) who is famous for raising geese with or without parents and w or w/o humans and these geese imprinted on him as their parent. He had two other colleages Niko Timbergen and Karl von Frish collectively won the nobel prize for study of behaviour in 1970s for pioneering work for evo causes of behaviour. Founders of ETHOLOGY.
VonFrisch famous for studies on how bees can navigate their environment - can return to the hive and communicate distance and direction information to a discovered food source in relation to home hive. The famous 'waggle dance'. Very eloquent - train bee to expect food from certain platform in relation to hive and then move food source before bee could fly back and note what direction he flew back on etc. Ethologists took animals doing natural behaviours in semi natural environments and then systematically manipulated certain aspects of the environment. Forerunners of ethologists - Jacques Loeb and Herbert Spencer Jennings - two different views Loeb - behaviour is a physical and chemical reaction in response to a stimulus - involuntary and forced. Patterns of behaviour due to 'forced movements' or tropisms (physiochemical reactions towards or away from stimuli). Behaviour largely inflexible
- NATURE Herbert Spencer Jennings - behaviour of lower organisms did have potential for modifiability. (Book "behaviour of lower organisms" 1906) NURTURE Two distinct philosophies - one emphasising predetermined forces (nature) and one emphasising subject to variability (nurture) Schism between two philosophies - ethologists and comparative psychologists as well as a geographic shifts. Ethologists predominately studying in Europe the evolutionary mechanism and function of behaviour. Largely studying innate behaviour. They tended to study range of animals in natural environment, or if this was impossible then they would try to construct semi-natural environments. Different species were studies as ethologists were interested in differences in behaviour between species to work out why that animal developed its certain behaviours. There were studying natural behaviour - not forcing it to behave differently, allowing them to study hard wired behaviour. Completely opposite were comparative psychologists, mainly studying in America. They emphasised the development and mechanisms of behaviour. They emphasised the learned behaviour of animals that could be housed and tested in the lab, particularly rats and pigeons and sometimes cats. They were interested in "Laws of Behaviour", and how subtle lab variation affected behaviour modifiability. Interested in learned behaviour. How you can manipulate behaviour with certain stimuli. Some other differences - ethologists would be zoologists studying natural species and behaviour. Comparative psychologists would have been todays' cognitive scientists. Difference in range of animals - ethologists studying birds, reptiles, fish... anything. CP only ones that could be housed in lab. Ethologists address the question- "Why is that animal doing that?" looking at immediate conditions that are influencing its behaviour and also evolutionary reasons. Used the comparative approach - not to be confused with comparative psychologists!!
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