This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

GRE PSYCH (Comparative Psychology)


undefined, object
copy deck
comparative psychology
closely related to ethology; through research studies, different species are compared in order to learn about their similarities and differences
Karl von Frisch
discovered "dance of the bumblebees"
honeybees and communication
communicate by "dancing." Scouting bee conveys location of a promising food source to the others back at the hive through a series of movements. Includes "round dance" and "waggle dance." The longer the dance, the farther the food, and the more vigorous the display, the better the food. Dance is performed on the vertical sheets of the hive. The angle between a perfectly vertical line and the direction the bee orients when dancing is the same angle as between the sun and the food source. Same type of dance is used to convey potential nesting sites.
round dance
dancing in a circular motion. Indicates food is extremely nearby
waggle dance
dancing with wiggle-type movements. Indicates food that is far away
honeybees and navigation
scouting bees do nothing other than look for food and nesting sites and return with the information. Bees use landmarks as simple location cues. Also able to use the sun, polarized light, and magnetic fields as navigational aides.
honeybees and hierarchy
Only one bee emerges as queen. Once queen, this bee produces a chemical that supresses the ovaries in all of the other female bees, so that she is the one reproducer. Queen bee is constantly tended to and fed by all the other bees (the female worker bees), and in the spring, she lays thousands of eggs. As these eggs mature, scouts find a new hive site for the old queen and her workers. When a new queen is ready to emerge in a hive, the old queen and her crew depart for a new site.
honeybees and mating
Very few drones are produced. Only purpose is to mate with the queen. Same mating areas are used year after year even though no bee survives from one year to the next. No one knows how they know to gather in the nearest mating sites.
male bees
honeybees and flower selection
Bees can use ultraviolet light, so they see flower coloration in a more complex way than humans do. Von Frisch found that honeybees could see certain markers on flowers (honeyguides) that people could not.
markers on flowers that honeybees see, but that humans cannot
some animals are frequently held to be adept navigators. Some animals use a sort of map-and-compass navigation, with the map being landmarks and the compass being sense of direction from elements like the sun or stars. Other animals have true navigational abilities in which they can point toward their goal with no landmarks and from any position. e.g. if captures and moved around the world during migration, some birds arrive at their usual goal anyway (true navigation) whereas others are not able to correct their "compass" for the displacement. Birds and bees are commonly cites as expert celestial navigators
atmospheric pressure
pigeons are sensitive to pressure changes in altitude and use this as a navigational cue.
pigeons can hear extremely low-frequency sounds (infrasounds) that humans cannot. These sounds, emitted by surf, for example, travel great distances and may be used as a navigational cue.
magnetic sense
pigeons and bees are thought to have magnetic sensitivity, which allows them to use the earth's magnetic forces as cues.
sun compass
both pigeons and bees are known to use the sun as a compass and to compensate for its daily movement.
star compass
many birds use star patterns and movement for navigation
polarized light
when the sun is obscures by clouds, bees can use polarized light to infer the position of the sun.
most sophisticated type of perception, which generally replaces sight. Marine animals (like dolphins) use it, but bats are probably the best known examples. Bats emit high-freq bursts of sound and locate nearby objects from the echo that bounces off these objects. Has incredible accuracy. Bats with 40cm wing spans can fly through grids of thin nylon string, they can discriminate between edible and inedible objects, and they can locate and eat small flying insects at the rate of 2 per second.
rather that using echolocation, use hearing similar to humans. Like humans, can judge direction and distance by comparing the differing intensities and arrival times at the 2 ears. Owls are better than humans at determining elevation of the source of sound. However, because their ears are asymmetrical (one is highter), sound from above or below will reach diff ears at diff times and with diff intensities.
Wolfgang Kohler
experimented with chimpanzees and insight in problem solving. Gestalt psychologist who asserted that by perceiving the whole of the situation, chimps were able to create novel solutions to problems (rather than just solve the problems by trial and error). Has chimps use tools (long sticks) to create props (stack boxes) to retrieve rewards. Only through insight could they accomplish this.
A-ha! Experience
moment of insight
Harry Harlow
researched development with rhesus monkeys. Social isolation and maternal stimulation.
social isolation
Harlow compared monkeys raised in social isolation to monkeys raised with a peer group. In isolated monkeys lacking interaction and socialization, their social development was hampered. Once brought together with other monkeys, isolated male monkeys did not display normal sexual functioning and isolated females lacked maternal behaviours.
contact comfort
Harlow studied the phenomenon of attachment with infant monkeys. Separated at birth from their mothers, infant monkeys were placed in cages with 2 surrogate mothers. One was a plain wire dummy equipped with a feeding bottle and the other was a terrycloth mother with no bottle. Infant spent most of its time with terrycloth mother and ran to this surrogate when afraid. Approached wire mother only to feed. Seems that infant attach to mothers through comforting experience rather than through feeding.
learning to learn
Harlow demonstrated that monkeys became better at learning tasks as they acquired diff learning experiences. Eventually, monkeys could learn after only one trial. Harlow called this "learning to learn"
R.C. Tyron
selective breeding experiments with "maze bright" and "maze dull" rats. Wanted to demonstrate heritability of behaviour.
R.M. Cooper and John Zubek
demonstrated the interaction between heredity and environment with maze bright and dull rats. Selectively bred bright rats performed better than the dull rats in maze problem solving only when both sets of rats were raised in normal conditions. Both bright and dull rats performed well when raised in an enriched environment (lots of food and activities). Both types performed poorly when raised in an impoverished environment.
Edward Thorndike
concept of "instrumental learning", which led to his "Law of Effect"
instrumental learning
happens through trial, error, and accidental success. Animal then acts on previous successes.
Law of Effect
Thorndike's theory which postualted that successful behaviours are more likely to be repeated. He demonstrated this concept with cats in puzzle boxes
cats in puzzle boxes
cat placed inside box would eventually accidentally press the escape door lever and be free. In later trials, the cat activates the lever right away. Demonstrates Thorndike's concepts of instrumental learning and Law of Effect
cross fostering experiments
attempt to separate the effects of heredity and environment. If an experiment were to study aggression in rats, it would be difficult to know when genetics influenced aggression or when experience influenced it. To correcet for this, sibling mice are separated at birth and placed with diff parents or in diff situations. Later diffs in aggression can be attributed to experience rather than genetics.
Eric Kandel
studied sea slug Aplysia, which he chose because of its few, large, easily identifiable nerve cells. Posited that learning and memory are evidenced by changes in synapses and neural pathways.

Deck Info