Biology GCSE - B3 Behaviour in Humans and Other Animals - Edexcel

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Behaviour In Humans and Other Animals Objectives


Explain that animals inherit certain patterns of behaviour from their parents known as instinctive behaviour.

Animals inherit different types of behaviour from their parents called instinctive behaviour; this is behaviour that they are naturally born with, for example in humans as an adult you have a type of instinctive behaviour called the iris reflex which is the changing in size of the pupil depending on different light levels. And with new born babies they have a reflex called the grasp reflex which is where a new born baby will grasp you hand if you touch their hand.


Explain that an animal’s early experiences in life can have a big impact on the way in which it behaves as an adult.

An animal’s early experiences in life have a massive impact on their life for example imprinting which is where animals such as ducks will imitate and follow the first person or thing they see, this is because in most cases it’s their parents that they will see first. Imprinting helps because it will give them food, shelter and protection, something that they will rely on the early staged of life.


Explain that animals can learn through conditioning.

Animals can learn through conditioning by being trained to do certain things, for example with Russian Ivan Pavlov investigated the production of saliva in dogs when food was presented to them, he found that when food was presented the flow of saliva increased. With this information he found out that he could train the dogs into salivating to the sound of a bell.


Recall that humans can make use of conditioning when training captive animals for specific purposes.


Explain that habituation is an important part of the learning process in young animals.


Recall that much of animal’s behaviour requires communication.

Most of animal’s behaviour requires communication; this can be by speech, body language, facial experiments, chemicals, signals and eye contact. Animals such as honey bees communicate by dance, for example if a bee moves in a figure of 8 that can tell the rest of the hive the distance and direction of where the pollen is.


Explain that communication can happen in many different ways – sounds, signals and chemicals.

Communication can happen in many different ways for example: speech, body language, facial experiments, chemicals, signals and eye contact. These types of communication differ from species to species, e.g. humans have a voice box so can interpret different sounds and use speech much better than other animals.


Explain that sexual reproduction requires the finding and selection of a suitable mate and can involve courting behaviour.

In animals, they try to find a mate with the best genetic material so they can pass it on to future generations; they try to find these features through courting behaviour, which animals use to attract a mate. They engage in these behaviours to show their features to impress a mate.






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