Flashcards in Ethological Explanation Deck (11):
What is ethology?
Study of animals in their natural environment within the context of evolutionary theory
No distinction between animals and humans
Assumption we can generalise results to humans
What functions does aggression serve?
Survival of the fittest
Survival of the young
Distribute a species by territory
Define the process of innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns (1)
Action specific energy builds up, the greater the build up the greater the need to release it
Define the process of innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns (2)
Action specific energy is prevented from being released by an innate releasing mechanism that is hard wired into us
Define the process of innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns (3)
In response to an environmental stimulus the IRM allows the release of action specific energy as a fixed action pattern
What is ritualised aggression?
Aggression to assert power and maintain status
What did Lorenz suggest about ritualised aggression?
Social animals inflict little harm on their own species due to ritualised aggression e.g. Appeasement tactics
Who conducted the key study into ethological aggression?
Observed FAP's in red-bellied sticklebacks
Outline Tinbergen's study
Seeing right red stimulates an IRM which triggers fighting behaviour (FAP)
What did Tinbergen find?
Aggressive response triggered by unrealistic models with red bellies more so than by real sticklebacks with no red belly
Suggestions aggression is instinctive