Topics: Ethology, Instinct, Fixed action pattern Pages: 2 (365 words) Published: October 12, 2013
Unit 1: Instinct and Culture
Find examples to illustrate instinctive behaviour in animals. Dolphins swimming instantly after being born.
Birds knowing where to migrate to.
Bears knowing when to hibernate.
Adult female mammals nurturing newborn offspring.
Spider spindling its web.
Dog shaking after it gets wet.
Sea turtle seeking the ocean after hatching.
Instincts are patterns of behaviour that are not the result of learning or experience. Reproduction, migration and hibernation are all examples of instinctive/innate behaviour. Ethologist Konrad Lorenz demonstrated the power of instinct when he was able to get young geese to imprint on him. He noted that geese would form an attachment to the first moving thing they encountered after they had hatched which would usually have been the mother. Instead Lorenz ensured that he was the first moving thing they encountered; the geese became attached and imprinted on him. What does species specific mean?

A pattern of behaviour that is specific to a species and is not learnt, also known as species typical behaviour. It is the behaviour in which is very similar each time it is carried out no matter how complex it will be the same. An example of What does fixed action pattern mean?

A genetically programmed behaviour that is not learned and is carried out even if species is deprived of contact with own species. A fixed action pattern does not require previous learning or experience therefore no memory of this behaviour is required, it is inherited. An example of an instinctual fixed action pattern can be observed in the behaviour of animals, which perform activities, some complex, that have not been experienced previously such as reproduction and feeding among insects. Find 2 examples of cultural differences through history changes over time.

Kendra Cherry. (2013). Instinct Theory of Motivation. Available:...

Bibliography: Websites
Kendra Cherry. (2013). Instinct Theory of Motivation. Available: Last accessed 20/09/2013.
Robert Alford Darby . (2010). FIXED ACTION BEHAVIOR PATTERNS INSTINCT. Available:;id=26132. Last accessed 20/09/2013.
Ross Pomeroy. (2011). Fixed Action Patterns and Their Human Manifestations. Available: Last accessed 20/09/2013.
Saul McLeod. (2007). Bowlby 's Attachment Theory. Available: Last accessed 20/09/2013.
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