Biology B3 GCSE Topic 2

Behaviour in Humans and Other Animals

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Instinctive and Learned Behaviour (1)

Behaviour is an Organism's Response to Changes in its Environment

1) Behaviour=how organism responds to stimulus in environment, help it survive. 2) Behaviour can be inherited or learned, most relies on combination of the two. 3) Genes and environment have influence on behaviour.

Some Behaviour is Inherited

Inherited=Instinctive Behaviour, can be simple like reflex actions (sneezing, salivation,coughing, blinking) to protect from dangerous stimuli, they are automatic, or complex like courtship rituals. 

Some Behaviour is Learned

Response to changing conditions/learnt from previous experiences to avoid predators, find food or suitable mate. Habituation: becoming tolerant or ignoring stimulus that does not have pos/neg effect on them to conserve energy for more important actions that could be more dangerous. Experiences in early life can affect behaviour later on. E.g. babies whose parents argue a lot are more likely to suffer from rage later in life. 

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Instinctive and Learned Behaviour (2)

Conditioning is Another Form of Learned Behaviour

Classical Conditioning: animal learns passively (without trying) to associate with a neutral stimulus e.g. dog associating bell ringing with food. Response is automatic, reinforced by repetition. Pavlov's dogs- salivated when they smelt food, bell rung when food was smelt, food removed, bell rung, dogs still salivated. 

Operant Conditioning: trial and error learning actively where a stimulus is associated with reward or punishment, works for children and animals. Burrhus Skinner's Pigeons and Rats- Choice of buttons, one gave reward, one gave punishment, animals would use trial and error to choose correct button and get reward. 

We Use Conditioning to Train Animals

Both types of conditioning are used to train animals to do certain things. Reward/Punishment systems (operant conditioning) are used to teach animals right from wrong in training. Nowadays rewards are encouraged over punishments as they can be distressing. Examples: sniffer dogs to detect drugs, guide dogs to stop at roadside and wait for command.

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Social Behaviour and Communication (1)

Animals Need to Communicate

Communication between individuals within a group can be beneficial in order to 1) Keep a group together. 2) One animal can warn others of danger. 3) Comm. of mood helps create understanding. 4) Baby animals comm. their needs to parents. 5) Comm. allows packs to coordinate attack.

 Animals can Communicate in Different Ways

Sound: common in nature. Humans through language. Wales/dolphins using low frequency sound. Bird calls communicate all manner of things. 

Chemicals: Pheromones released by animals. Scents mark territory and act as sexual attractants. Some male moths can detect female pheromones from several kilometres away. 

Behaviour: Some animals use specific behaviour signals to communicate: honey bees "waggle dance" once back at the hive to show that food has been found. Body posture, hand signals, courtship rituals. 

Facial Expressions are Species Specific they mean different things from species to species, chimpanzees bearing teeth like smiling are expressing fear.

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