PSY-B 356 Quiz: B356Spring17Exam1Guide

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Exam1 guide
The exam will consist of
40 multiple choice questions x 2 points = 80 points
5 short answer essay questions x 4 points = 20 points
Total = 100 points
Material presented in lecture and the textbook, chapters 1, 2, 5, and 6.
A good general rule is to study especially well any topic covered in the posted lecture outlines.
Evolution: process by which living things developed from primitive organisms through changes
over time.
Natural selection: animals with characteristics required to survive and breed within their
environment leave descendants
Background to evolution:
Carolus Linnaeus classified organisms
Geology and paleontology age of earth, gradual change
Jean Baptiste Lamarck: early theory of evolution
Thomas Robert Malthus: theory of population growth “survival of the fittest”
Charles Darwin “The Origin of Species’ 1859
Natural selection can influence:
Viability: whether inherited characteristic enhances the likelihood of survival and reproduction
Fertility: whether inherited characteristic enhances mating success
Fecundity: whether inherited characteristic enhances number of offspring
Parental investment model. Explains human sexual selection
Questions raised by Darwin’s theory relevant to psychology:
1. Do animals have “intelligence” like humans?
2. Do humans have instincts like animals?
Study of animal learning: e.g., Edward Thorndike’s book “Animal Intelligence”-experiments
with puzzle boxes showed that animal behavior is affected by its consequences
Thorndike’s Law of effect: if a response is followed by a satisfying state of affairs then it is
strengthened and likely to be repeated
If a response is followed by an annoying state of affairs then it is weakened and less likely to be
Study of human instincts: e.g., William James 1842-1910
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Exam1 guide
Instinct: a complex unlearned response to a characteristic stimulus, shared by all members of a
species, like a reflex but more complex
James made list of human instincts
Instincts: occur "blindly" at first (automatically, impulsively, without thought about what the
goal of the behavior is), then are modified by experience
-can be inhibited by learning (habit)
-may be transitory (seen only during certain developmental periods), e.g., fear of strangers in
Problems with instincts:
1. Arbitrary types and numbers of instincts
2. Nominal fallacy
3. Concept not well defined
4. Role of learning undervalued
5. Instinct theories are ofeten teleological; Teleology: behavior serves some ultimate purpose
5. Instinct theories are often anthropomorphic: infer that other organisms have human feelings
Result of criticism:
-around 1920s; instinct concept out of fashion in psychology
-disappeared from American psychology
Ethology: a branch of biology, zoology, studies evolution, development, and function of
behavior, much concerned with study of instinctive behaviors
“Classic” ethologists: Konrad Lorenz (birds); Niko Tinbergen (fish); 1930s
Ethology method: mainly observation; plus some semi-natural experiments
Ethological Approach to Motivation
-behavior driven action specific energy ASE
-usually inhibited from occurring by innate releasing mechanism IRM that works like a lock that
can be opened by the proper key
-behavior released by stimulus in environment (key stimulus, sign stimulus, releaser)
Fixed action pattern FAP: the response that a key stimulus releases
1. not learned
2. stereotyped (invariable)
3. continues to completion regardless of changes in environment
Taxes: like FAP but more responsive to changes in environment
Supernormal stimuli: exaggerated aspect of stimulus releases behavior more effectively than
normal stimuli
Consummatory behavior: fixed pattern of responding to specific stimuli in environment; e.g.,
chewing and swallowing food
Appetitive behavior: flexible, subject to modification through learning; e.g., searching for food
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