Ethological Explanation Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Ethological Explanation Deck (11):
1

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

2

What functions does aggression serve?

Survival of the fittest
Survival of the young
Distribute a species by territory
Maintain hierarchies

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

What is ritualised aggression?

Aggression to assert power and maintain status

7

What did Lorenz suggest about ritualised aggression?

Social animals inflict little harm on their own species due to ritualised aggression e.g. Appeasement tactics

8

Who conducted the key study into ethological aggression?

Tinbergen
Observed FAP's in red-bellied sticklebacks

9

Outline Tinbergen's study

Seeing right red stimulates an IRM which triggers fighting behaviour (FAP)

10

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

11

Evaluate the ethological explanation

FAP's common with limited cognitive abilities (not humans)
Doesn't explain non instinctive aggression - premeditated murder
Animals - can't generalise
Humans are complex