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Chapter 41: Animal Behavior
Ethology: study of animal behavior, specifically many species in natural environment; questions
evolution and behaviors
Behaviorism: behaviors can be modified by experience to respond to unnamed stimuli; Ivan Pavlov
Proximate Causes: Immediate genetic, physiological, neurological, & developmental mechanisms that
determine one’s behavior
Ultimate Causes: evolutionary processes that produced one’s capacity & tendency to behave in
particular ways over many generations of natural selection
Releasers: simple stimuli that trigger fixed actions
Cost-Benefit Analysis: assumes an animal has limited time & energy to devote to daily activities; each
has fitness costs & benefits
Imprinting: parent-offspring bond where an animal learns a specific set of stimuli during the
“critical/sensitive period”; brief exposure
Diurnal: day active
Nocturnal: night active
Circadian Rhythms: daily cycles that suggest animals may have internal clocks; not exactly 24 hrs
Suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN): area of the brain where the master circadian clock is located in mammals
Inclusive Fitness: fitness derived from an individual’s own reproductive success plus the success of its
Kin Selection: selection for behaviors that would increase the reproductive success of relatives even at
the cost to the performer
Hamilton’s Rule: for an altruistic behavior to be adaptive, the cost to the performer must be less than
the benefit to the recipient times the degree of relatedness between the performer and recipient
Altruistic Behavior: benefits another individual at a cost to the performer
Fixed Action Pattern: genetically determined behavior performed w/o learning, stereotyping, and not
modifiable by learning; instinct
Distal: away from a point of attachment
Sexual Selection: selection by one sex of characteristics in individuals of the opposite sex; favoring
certain characteristics in one sex as a result of competition among individuals of that for mates
Adaptive Behavior: behavior used to adjust to another behavior or situation; allows an individual to
improve unconstructive habits
Instinctual Behavior: an inborn patter of behavior in a specific species in response to an environmental
stimulus; reflex
Innate Behavior: something instinctual but that doesn’t need experience to perfect
Habituation: decrease in response to a stimuli after having experienced it numerous times
Operant Behavior: individual’s behavior is modified by its consequences
Classical Conditioning: (Pavlov) learning where the conditioned stimulus comes to signify the occurrence
of an unconditioned stimulus
Insight Learning: learning/problem solving that happens all of a sudden through understanding various
parts of the problem; not trial and error; aha! Moments
Crepuscular: animals active at dawn/dusk
Culture: arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively
Direct Fitness: individual survival and reproduction
Cooperative Behavior: 2+ people directed towards a common goal that is mutually beneficial