Bio Psych Assign. 1

Bio Psych Assign. 1 - Christina Carr Introduction to Brain...

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Christina Carr Introduction to Brain and Behavior 031:012:A06 Assignment #1 Explanations for Nonhuman Behavior Reciprocal altruism is defined as the idea that animals help those who help them in return (Kalat pg. 20). This concept can also be related to the golden rule, treat others as you want to be treated. Reciprocal altruism can be seen not only in humans, but also nonhuman behavior. There are four main aspects that reciprocal altruism can be explained for behavior of nonhumans physiological, ontogenetic, evolutionary, and functional. Physiological explanation relates a behavior to the activity of the brain and other organs (Kalat pg. 3). Reciprocal altruism is different than altruism when considering this explanation. Imagine an animal that receives help from another animal that benefits him. With a less developed brain, the animal soon forgets about the altruism it received and in a similar situation does not emit the same level of altruism to that same animal that helped him earlier. Because humans have a much more developed brain than most animals it is easier to see examples of reciprocal altruism. Humans can acknowledge altruism shown by other humans more easily than most animals and can therefore make a “mental note” return a favor to that person later. Even though humans can use reciprocal altruism in more complex ways than animals, it does not mean that animals can not use reciprocal altruism. An example of this can be seen with certain types of primates. A very common gesture between primates is picking off dirt and bugs from another primate. Monkey’s behavior has been shown to be very similar to humans and therefore they are
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course BIO 002:010 taught by Professor Denburg during the Fall '08 term at University of Iowa.

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Bio Psych Assign. 1 - Christina Carr Introduction to Brain...

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