PSY 336: Ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior especially in a natural setting. The word “ethology” comes from “ethos” which means the distinguishing character, habit, manner, or behavior of an organism.
Part 1: Chapters 1, 2, and 3
http://courses.MissouriState.edu/JRosenkoetter/ This is not a new area of study. Before the development of the supermarket, people had to know animal behavior to get protein and fat. What distinguishes ethology from the work of hunters, horse trainers, and so forth is ethology’s scientific methods.
History of the Study of Animal Behavior
I. Prehistoric times
hunters and gatherers
Chauvet Cave in France, 32,000-year-old paintings
L. S. B. Leakey (1903-1972), Kenyan anthropologist who worked in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania
Jane Goodall (chimpanzee)
Dian Fossey (mountain gorilla)
Birute Galdikas (orangutan)
Classic Greek World
psychic world--humans are rational, this separates humans from animals (rationalism)
physical world--animals are like machines and cannot think (mechanistic view)
3. but the human body is a machine, it can be studied scientifically
As the natural world came to be quantified and measured by the mathematical method, the human body, as part of the natural world, posed special considerations. How could one measure emotions? Or quantify the soul? René Descartes provided the philosophical justification for conceptualizing the human body in mathematical terms by positing two separate but interacting aspects that comprise the human body--the res cogitans, thinking substance, and res extensa, the extended or physical substance. Quite simply, the human body could now be divided into mind and body. With the advent of Newtonian physics, the extended or physical world, including the human body, came to be interpreted through the laws of matter and motion.
John Locke (1632-1704)
At birth the human mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa).
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
rejected the concept of a tabula rasa
there has to be some native (innate or inborn) ability to organize what is observed
Theory of evolution by natural selection
A. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was the naturalist on HMS Beagle, which visited the Galápagos Islands. His observations about mockingbirds, finches, and many other things, got him thinking about earlier work.
B. Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)
Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
population increases geometrically (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, ...) but the food supply increases arithmetically (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ...)
Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875)
geologist who observed rock strata showed a succession of fossils that indicated a process of continuous change
species are not fixed
animal breeding had already provided support
D. Herbert Spencer wrote Principles of Psychology in (1855). In it, he proposed there was an intellectual continuity among animals
E. Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913)
F. Both Darwin and Wallace independently formulated the theory of evolution by natural selection.
1. Darwin wrote:
a. The Origin of Species (1859)
b. On the Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1873)
2. The theory of evolution restored the continuity between humans and other animals.
George John Romanes (1848-1894)
was a close friend of Charles Darwin
coined the term “comparative psychology”
used anecdotal evidence rather than empirical tests
C. Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936)
Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1894)
both observations and empirical method
Morgan's canon: “In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher mental faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale” (Morgan, 1894), the Law of parsimony or William of Occam's razor
Theories of genetics and inheritance
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Karl Lashley searched for the engram
Roger W. Sperry won a Nobel prize in 1981 splitbrainpics
Animal psychology (or comparative psychology)
Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949)
a. puzzle box
b. trial-and-error learning (trial-and-accidental success) (instrumental learning) (aka operant conditioning)
c. Law of Effect: “If a response in the presence of a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event, the association between the stimulus and the response will be strengthened. Conversely, if the response is followed by an aversive event, the association will be weakened” (Dugatkin, p. 130).
Robert M. Yerkes (1876-1956)
a. studied many species
b. founded a primate center
c. Army Alpha and Beta
a. APA president in 1950
b. too many rat studies
Hodos and Campbell (1969)--psychology needs an evolutionary perspective
Jacques Loeb (1859-1924)
a. tropism (forced movement)
b. mechanistic point of view
Herbert Spencer Jennings
a. disagreed with Loeb
b. said behavior was variable and modifiable
John B. Watson (1878-1958)
a. S-R psychology
b. tabula rasa
c. Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1914)
B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)
a. operant conditioning
b. laws of learning
Behavior can be studied with an evolutionary point of view just like anatomy and physiology.
Charles O. Whitman (1842-1910) used the display patterns of birds to classify them.
Jacob J. von Uexkull (1864-1944) Umwelt (sensory-perceptual world)
There is an interaction between what is innate and the environment, which allows life and learning.
D. Changing terms:
to: species-specific behavior
to: species-typical behavior
fixed action pattern
to: modal action pattern
innate as absolute
to: innate as relative
Hess: “innate” pecking behavior of gull chicks gets better with practice (is learned)
Brelands: “instinctive drift” nonreinforced innate behavior interfered with “learned” behavior
http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Breland/misbehavior.htm Seligman: there is a continuum of preparedness to learn new associations from prepared (learn quickly) to contraprepared (takes many trials or may not learn at all)
Garcia has shown that the internal state of nausea can easily be paired with internal cues, such as tastes or odors, but not with external cues, such as sounds or lights.
Today we say that genes and environment interact in the development of every behavior.
Sociobiology (also called behavioral ecology)
applies the principles of evolutionary theory to the study of social behavior
How could helping another individual raise its young (altruism) evolve?
William D. Hamilton wrote in 1964 that evolutionary success is the result of your inclusive fitness. Inclusive fitness is your surviving offspring (direct fitness) plus offspring of kin (indirect fitness).
Edward O. Wilson wrote Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975)
If one allele (variant form of a gene) gives an advantage over other alleles, it will increase in frequency over generations.
This changes the genotype (the genetic information of the organism) over many generations.
Ernst Mayr (1977) proposed that Darwin and Wallace thought like this:
Fact 1: All species are capable of overproducing.
Fact 2: Populations of species tend to remain stable.
Fact 3: Resources are limited
Inference 1: There is a struggle for existence among individuals
Fact 4: Individuals are unique.
Fact 5: Individual differences can be inherited.
Inference 2: Differential survival, or natural selection, occurs.
Inference 3: Through many generations--evolution.
How Natural Selection Operates
Sociobiology and Selfish Genes
Richard Dawkins, 1976:
“Any allele that codes for a trait that increases the fitness of its bearer above and beyond that of others in the population will increase in frequency. So natural selection often, but not always, produces genes that appear to be selfish” (Dugatkin, 2014, p. 43).
Adaptation leads to the highest fitness among a specified set of behaviors in a specified environment.
An adaptive trait is a characteristic that increased in a population (usually through natural selection) because it helped solve the problem of survival or reproduction during the time it emerged.
Kinship and Naked Mole Rat Behavior Fig2.19 Show eusociality
show reproductive division of labor where some castes reproduce and other castes do not
there is an overlap in generations where older generations care for younger generations
there is communal care of young
There is high genetic relatedness (r = .81) among individuals within the same colony. Fig2.23
Kinship theory states that the more highly related individuals are, the more we expect to see cooperation and altruistic behavior.
Phylogeny and the Study of Animal Behavior
Phylogeny--evolutionary history through common descent (common ancestry)
Phylogenetic Trees Fig2.22aFig2.22bFig2.23
Homology--a trait shared by species because of a common ancestor
Homoplasy--a trait that is not due to a common ancestor, e.g., wings of birds, bats, and insects (Fig2.28), which are analogies that are produced by convergent evolution.
The direction of historical change (polarity [or which came first]) in a trait must be determined.
A parsimonious analysis should be used. (Use Occam's razor to cut off unnecessary assumptions about evolutionary changes.)
Phylogeny and comparative data Fig2.26Fig2.37
Hormones and Neurobiology,
Ultimate and Proximate Perspectives
Questions about ultimate causation are often in the form of “Why is it that . . ?” A perspective is considered ultimate if it concerns how something may have evolved.
A perspective is considered proximate, if it answers a question about “How is it that…?” or “What is it that…?” It operates within the lifetime of an organism. Fig3.2
Hormones and Proximate Causation
The Long-Term Effects of In-Utero Exposure to Hormones Fig3.11Fig3.12Fig3.13Fig3.14Fig3.15
Vasopressin and parental care in Voles
Male prairie voles are monogamous, care for their young, and guard their mates.
Male meadow voles Fig3.19 are polygynous and provide little parental care to their young.
Prairie voles have more vasopressin receptors in their brains than do meadow voles. Fig3.17
If vasopressin is administered to male prairie voles, it stimulates mate guarding and parental care.
Hormones and Honeybee Foraging
In honeybees, juvenile hormone is associated with foraging. Fig3.18
Removing the corpus allatum removes the source of the juvenile hormone. Fig3.19