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Comp Psych

Glossary Terms

adaptation the trait with the highest fitness among a set of behaviors in an environment. this is a result of natural selection.
allele a gene variant. 1 of 2 or more forms of a gene.
allogrooming social grooming. solidifies social bonds and provides hygienic uses like removal of parasites by licking or scratching the skin of another.
analogous traits a trait that is similar in two individuals based on selection pressures, not descent
antagonistic pleiotropy multiple pleiotropic effects of genes work in opposite directions with respect to fitness
artificial selection man is the selective agent for breeding, and he chooses different varieties of an organism over others for breeding
audience effect aggressive behaviors are changed as a function of being watched by others
aversive stimulus opposite of appetitive stimulus. unpleasant experience linked with this stimulus, such as from a shock or noxious odor
Bateman's Principle eggs require more energy to produce than sperm. Females should be choosier, then and variance of reproductive success in males will occur as a result.
behavioral genetics genetic variance studied in terms of behavior
blocking an association between an unconditioned stimulus an its response prevents an individual's response to another unconditioned stimulus
brood parasitism behavioral parasitism that involves a female placing her eggs in another female's nest
byproduct mutualism individual pays immediate cost for not acting cooperatively such that the immediate benefit of cooperating outweighs the effect of cheating
bystander effect observer changes their estimation of fighting ability between two aggressive individuals as a product of their observations
coalition cooperative action of individuals/group against another individual/group
communication transfer of information from signaler to receiver
conceptual approach integration of ideas from different disciplines and combining them in a new, cohesive way
conditioned response (CR) learned response to a conditioned stimulus
conditioned stimulus (CS) stimulus that initially fails to evoke response, but does so after associated with a second (unconditioned) stimulus
convergent evolution different populations or species converge on the same phenotypic characteristics as a result of similar selection pressures
cooperation despite costs, provides benefits to others. cooperating facilitates the process of cooperation
coping style behavioral responses and their related stress responses consistent over time
copying observer repeats the actions of a demonstrator. copier usually receives a reward.
cross-fostering experiment a way to measure relative environmental and genetic variation on the expression of behaviors. involves young being removed and raised by non-genetic relatives
cryptic hidden by camouflage, and so blending in the environment and less likely detected by predators
cryptic mate choice female selects which sperm that was transferring in copulation to be used in actual fertilization
cultural transmission aka social learning. the transfer of information from individual to individual through teaching
developmental stability a measure of how well an individual handles changing environments as it matures/develops
disposable soma theory somatic traits (not contributing to reproduction) are abandoned and energy is invested into traits related to reproduction instead
dominance hierarchy relationship between individuals based on aggressive behaviors and responses to aggressive behaviors
dominant allele in heterozygote individuals, A is dominant to a when Aa genotype is identical to AA genotype
dyadic interactions interactions that occur only between two individuals
ecology the study of individuals' interactions with their respective environments
empirical approach the gathering of data and making inferences based on it. Ethological data is gathered often by way of observation or experimentation
endocrine system communication network of ductless glands that secrete chemical messengers called hormones
ethology the scientific study of animal behavior, studied in the natural environment
eusociality extreme form of cooperative sociality in which cooperative brood care, division of labor, and overlapping generations
evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) if used by everyone in a population, will never decrease in frequency as new mutations arise. a "mutant" is a new strategy introduced at a low frequency
excitatory conditioning when a conditioned stimulus leads to an action (such as searching for food or hiding)
extinction curves once the pairing has stopped, a graph that depicts how long an animal will remember a paired association
extrapair copulations copulations that occur outside the context of a pair bond
female defense polygyny a mating system where males aggressively protect a cluster of females and in doing so obtaining sole reproductive access to this "harem" of females
fitness lifetime reproductive success. usually measured relatively
flight initiation distance the distance at which prey begin to flee from a predator
foraging feeding behavior, all behaviors associated with it
gene expression the expression of a gene as a result of environmental or behavioral triggers
good genes model sexual selection. females choose to mate with the male who expresses traits that indicate good health and vigor - well adapted to the environment. females receive indirect benefit in that their young carries on these good genes
group selection natural selection operates between and among groups
habitat choice models examination of how animals distribute themselves with respect to a resource in the environment (eg. food, mates, refuge from predators)
habituation becoming less sensitive to stimuli over time
hawk-dove game hawk strategy is escalation until it is either injured or the opponent concedes. dove strategy is bluffing so that it looks like it will escalate, but really it cedes the resource and retreats once the other plays the role of the hawk and escalates
heritability the proportion of variance that is due to genetic variation within a trait
home range undefended area where the individual spends most of its time
homologous traits traits shared by two or more species as a result of common descent
homoplasy same trait in two species, but it has nothing to do with common descent. it is a product of natural selection acting on each of the species separately.
honest indicators principle the idea that traits that are costly to produce are hard to fake so truly indicate good genetic quality in a mate
horizontal cultural transmission cultural transmission passed across individuals of the same age or peer group
ideal free distribution (IFD) model a mathematical model that shows distribution of animals to a habitat with respect to varying levels of resource availability
imitation topographically NOVEL response acquired by observing a demonstrator making the same response
inclusive fitness aka kin selection. fitness is measured by effects on its bearer and its affect on genetic relatives
individual learning permanent learning based off of individual experience. does not involve another individual
inhibitory conditioning when a conditioned stimulus (CS) inhibits a behavior
instrumental conditioning learning that occurs when a response is reinforced by a reward or a punishment. a response must be made in order for learning to occur in this conditioning process
intersexual selection sexual selection involving an individual of one sex choosing which member of the other sex to select to bang
intrasexual selection competition among members of the same sex for the opposite sex
kamikaze sperm hypothesis hypothesis that natural selection might favor sperm that kills other male's sperm rather than favoring sperm likelier to fertilize an egg
kin recognition matching models individual uses an internal template to gauge its genetic relatedness to others
law of effect stimulus and response are strengthened when an association is made to a stimulus and a satisfying experience
lek males set up and defend a small temporary territorial patch in which they make sexual displays so that a female might choose them. aka arena mating
local enhancement an individual is drawn to a location because it observed another individual at that location
marginal value theorum mathematical model to predict how long a forager will spend with a patch of food before moving on to a new patch
mobbing prey join together an attempt to aggressively chase a predator away
monogamous mating only male and female breed during a mating system
mushroom bodies small neurons in some invertebrates frontal brain. mushroom bodies are associated with spatial navigation
mutation change in genetic structure
mutualism an interaction that benefits all parties involved. aka interspecies cooperation
natural selection variants of a trait that best suit an organism to the environment and is heritable increases in frequency over evolutionary time. requires variation, fitness differences, and heritability
neural plasticity ability for neurons to change as a function of experience
neurohormones unlike most hormones, these are secreted directly into the bloodstream by nerve sells
nomads individuals with no home range and/or who do not frequent the same territories over time
nuptial gifts one sex presents prey to the opposite sex as a form of courtship
oblique cultural transmission information passed across generations, not from parent to young
operant response learned response that involves animal changing its environment
optimal foraging theory
Created by: weezayt