Hey, i am currently doing a psychology degree at portsmouth university and am working on my animal behaviour lecture essay (3000 words). The question is:
Is human behaviour fundamentally different from or the same as animal behaviour?
So far I have the following rough ideas to put in my essay:
The idea of evolution, Charles Darwin's argument and intersexual and intrasexual selction and how it cannot be explained by natural selection.
The paradox of alturuism
The idea that classical and operant conditioning is effective with both animals and humans.
The 'gloved fist' idea (that animals modify their behaviour for the good of the group.
Whiten et al. (1996) chimps and children opening a puzzle box experiment.
primary and secondary emotions - humans can feel both, yet, as far as we know, animals only feel primary emotions.
the fact that we study animals to understand human behaviour, so there must be a realtion.
American environmentalists - believe that all human behaviour is acquired and can be moulded through education and upbringing. Whereas animals behaviour is due to learning processes.
'Great Leap Forward' or ' Upper Paleolithic Revolution' - this is when 'modern human behaviour' ememrged. Proven as before 50 kya the artifacts found lacked intelectual skill and there seemed to be a lack of tools and weapons .etc. yet after 50 kya they found weapons that were very complex and sophisticated. Suggesting that the hominids before 50 kya lacked the cognitive skills required to produce such artifacts.
Humans posess reasoning, as they will eat more veg as they want to be healthier, where as animals just eat because they are hungry.
However new bornes, dont eat because they don't want to starve to death, they only eat as they are hungry.
So at what stage do we stop acting on instinct and start acting on reasoning and begin understanding the consequences and results of our actions?
Don't worry if you don't know some of the things ive mentioned. Im not sure if i want to use it all, i want to get as many ideas as possible and then narrow it down to the most revelant and the ones which go best together.
I need to get arguments for and against the statement (the question) and any ideas will be greatly apreciated.
Also more previous studies that have been done on this study would be great! I can't seem to find too many previous reasearch on this topic.