Elements Of Behavior
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  • 1. Elements of Behavior
  • 2. Monkeys in Australia
    I once was in an Anthropology class. We began talking about how humans got to America
    “They walked across the Bering Strait and got to America.”
    The professor asked, “Good, now, how did humans get to Australia?”
  • 3. Monkeys in Australia (continued)
    “The text talked about how humans built boats and sailed across the ocean from Asia to the Pacific Islands, and eventually to Australia.”
    “Great,” my professor said, “but how did monkeys get to Australia and the Pacific Islands?”
  • 4. Monkeys in Australia (continued)
    We all thought hard about this. We had all did the reading, but felt that we had skipped over this part in particular. We felt we were in trouble
    “I know how,” said one of my classmates
    “Then, please tell us how,” said our professor
  • 5. Monkeys in Australia (continued)
    “Have you heard about Monkey See, Monkey Do? I think that one day a group of monkeys saw the humans building boats to get across the sea. They learned from looking at the humans, and built boats of their own to sail across the sea”
    “Monkey Boats?” said my professor and laughed
  • 6. Monkeys in Australia (continued)
    The truth is, there are no natural species of monkeys in Australia or the Pacific Islands beyond Indonesia
    The question that was raised through this all was, “How do we learn?” and “Can animals learn?”
  • 7. Animal Behavior
    Some animals present behavior without any proper training or teaching
    Other animals seem to know everything about everything right from the moment they’re born
  • 8. Stimulus and Response
    Behavior is the way an organism reacts to changes in its internal condition or external environment
    A Stimulus is any kind of signal that carries information and can be detected
    A Response is a single, specific reaction to a stimulus
  • 9. Stimulus and Response (continued)
    Does it sound too complicated? Think of it this way…
    You are sleeping in after a long night of partying. When you are sound asleep, your roommate decides it would be funny to slap your face very hard and run before you get your act together. No one likes being woken up, so you run after the roommate to teach them a lesson in pain
  • 10. Stimulus and Response (continued)
    Stimulus = Slap to the face
    Response = waking up angry and beating up the roommate
  • 11. Stimulus and Response (continued)
    No one told you to get up and beat up your roommate. The behavior just comes to you. “If they want to try this again, I’ll give them a reason not to, and they’ll let me sleep.”
  • 12. How Animals Respond
    Animal’s brains are not as advanced and complex as ours
    Animals are simple creatures with moments of sheer brilliance
  • 13. How Animals Respond (continued)
    When an animal responds to a stimulus, body systems – including the sense organs, nervous system, and muscles – interact to produce the resultant behavior
  • 14. Innate Behavior
    Innate Behaviors appear in fully functional form the first time they are performed, even though the animal may have had no previous experience with the stimuli to which it responds
  • 15. Innate Behavior (continued)
    Say that you are out in the wild, hide, and spook some animals. What kind of Innate Behavior do you think you will see?
  • 16. Defense…
  • 17. Escape…
  • 18. Attack…
  • 19. Learned Behavior
    Animals do not always know exactly what to do at all times. Like us, they must often learn to do things in order to get ahead in life
  • 20. Habituation
    The simplest type of learning
    A process by which an animal decreases or stops its response to a repetitive stimulus that neither rewards nor harms the animal
    “If I’m not getting anything out of this, why bother doing it, anyway?”
  • 21. Classical Conditioning
    Learning to associate
    Classical Conditioning is the learning process in which an animal makes a mental connection between a stimulus and some kind of reward or punishment
    “My owner just grabbed the leash… this must mean that he’s taking me out for a walk!”
  • 22. Classical Conditioning (continued)
  • 23. Classical Conditioning (continued)
    A famous physiologist called Ivan Pavlov is famous for this
    Through Classical Conditioning, he taught a dog to drool at the sound of a bell (refer to previous slide)
  • 24. Operant Conditioning
    Perhaps the way in which we teach tricks to animals and domesticate them
    Operant Conditioning occurs when an animal learns to behave in a certain way through repeated practice, in order to receive a reward or avoid punishment
    “When I study hard, I get good grades. When I get good grades, I get Weekend Passes…”
  • 25. Operant Conditioning (continued)
  • 26. Operant Conditioning (continued)
    Long ago, a psychologist called B.F. Skinner created the “Skinner Box”
    The box was used to teach animals (rats, pigeons, and eventually a baby since it was not illegal back then) to press a series of buttons in an order to receive snacks
  • 27. Operant Conditioning (continued)
  • 28. Insight Learning
    The most complex way of learning, and perhaps the only one that humans are the masters of
    Insight Learning occurs when an animal applies something it has already learned to a new situation, without a period of trial and error
    “Playing Volleyball must not be that different than Tennis, right? I think I’ll try it out since I’m amazing at Volleyball”
  • 29. Insight Learning (continued)
    Humans are the masters of Insight Learning, and Primates show signs of being able to use it as well
    About every other animal on Earth has big problems doing this or just doesn’t try to do it
  • 30. Insight Learning (continued)
  • 31. Learning and training are tough, but keep at it no matter how bad it may be… If Pikachu can do it, so can you