PSY352H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Ethology

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Published on 16 Sep 2015
School
UTM
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY352H5
Professor
Friday, January 10, 2014
Animal Psychology: Lecture 1
INTRODUCTION TO ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
-WHAT IS BEHAVIOUR? behaviour is something you can see - person’s response,
observable action to a stimuli
methodological definition: behaviour is the subject’s movement in space and time
experimental neuroscientist’s definition: behaviour is the window to the brain
behaviour is the output of the brain (including consciousness, beliefs and other
complicated behaviours, even the most complex behavioural phenomena are the
result of the functioning of the nervous system)
-PSYCHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY
psychology deals with numerous aspects of animal and human behaviour, now it is
partly biology because now we have tools to understand behaviours. Traditionally
psychology belonged to social sciences and brain was treated as “black box”.
Nowadays, the discipline is regarded as part of Natural Sciences and psychology
uses numerous concepts and methods of biology
-TWO FUNDAMENTALLY DISTINCT QUESTIONS
proximate question: phenogenetic causation-> concerns the biological and
physiological mechanisms of behaviour, how things work
ultimate question: phylogenetic causation-> concerns the evolution and adaptive
aspect of behaviour, about how things evolved, how did it come about
-Behaviour is just like any other characteristics of our body, it is the result of biological
mechanisms and it has developed according to the forces of natural selection
(evolution)
-We study animal behaviour because it is as interesting as human behaviour. There
are many species of animals with many different behaviours which allow researchers
to make comparative approaches. So many researchers are not able to test their
hypothesis on human beings, so they do it on animals BUT there are still ethical
consideration, every experiment needs to be approved by committee -> there are
both practical and ethical advantages when testing animals, there are many more
methods animal behaviour can be studied but human’s not. Humans are also so
much complicated, and by understanding simpler organisms we can better
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Document Summary

Psychology and biology: psychology deals with numerous aspects of animal and human behaviour, now it is partly biology because now we have tools to understand behaviours. Traditionally psychology belonged to social sciences and brain was treated as black box . Nowadays, the discipline is regarded as part of natural sciences and psychology uses numerous concepts and methods of biology. Behaviour is just like any other characteristics of our body, it is the result of biological mechanisms and it has developed according to the forces of natural selection (evolution) We study animal behaviour because it is as interesting as human behaviour. There are many species of animals with many different behaviours which allow researchers to make comparative approaches. Humans are also so much complicated, and by understanding simpler organisms we can better. Also, animals serve in medical research as model organisms and laboratory animals as tools for discovery.

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