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Is Behavior Determined By Biological Processes

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References And Recommended Reading

[PSYC 200] 4. The Biological Basis for Behavior

Call, J. Chimpanzee social cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences5, 388393.

Jensen K., Hare, B. etal. What’s in it for me? Self-regard precludes altruism and spite inchimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B273, 10131021 .

Müller, M. & Wehner, R. Path integration indesert ants, Cataglyphis fortis. PNAS85, 52875290 .

Plotnik, J. M., de Waal, F. B. M. et al. Self-recognition in an Asianelephant. PNAS103, 1705317057 .

Steele, M.l A., Halkin, S. L. et al. Cache protection strategies of a scatter-hoarding rodent: dotree squirrels engage in behavioural deception? Animal Behaviour75, 705714.

Is Behavior Controlled By Single Genes Or Groups Of Genes

In reality, specific animal behaviorsincluding those of humansare the result of multiple genes interacting with numerous environmental factors. Awareness of this complexity has shifted researchers focus from individual genes to entire genomes, thus giving rise to the field of behavioral genomics.

The Input Data Requirements Of The Flexible Response Mechanism Correspond To The Properties Of Consciousness

The flexible response mechanism requires a restricted data input, and consciousness, which is closely associated with operations of the FRM, is a limited information flow. This suggests that consciousness could be the input data to the FRM. Support for this view is provided by the fact that the properties of consciousness correspond to the necessary properties of the input data to the FRM:

In order to select or devise responses to events, the FRM requires access to relevant exogenous and endogenous data. Consciousness incorporates these as sights, sounds, etc., feelings of various kinds, and unsymbolized thoughts.

The FRM requires knowledge of various qualitative and quantitative properties of things, such as size, shape and location and the qualia array of consciousness has apparently evolved to meet this need .

The FRM requires input data that is a restricted representation of events, because information that is irrelevant to its computations has to be excluded. Any actions following on from the work of the FRM are controlled by sensorimotor systems specialized for those actions, which employ accurate and continuously updated data for action . Consciousness is an incomplete representation of events, as is demonstrated by inattentional blindness . The fact that our experiences are incomplete representations of reality is sometimes noticeable in ordinary life.

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Central To The Theory Are Three Claims That May Be Testable

This theory makes three claims that may prove to be testable, and if any of these claims were shown to be wrong, the theory, in its present form, would have been disproved.

First, the theory states that consciousness is the data input to a nonconscious mechanism, or combination of mechanisms, which determines every aspect of one’s life that is not determined by an automatic program or mechanism. .

Second, consciousness functions solely as input data every component of consciousness is information in some form, and no part of one’s experience is ever not information.

Third, all mental processing is nonconscious one does not experience any mental process. Therefore, one cannot have direct knowledge of the reasons for one’s actions, intentions, choices, or decisions or of how one’s thoughts or feelings originated. According to the theory, direct knowledge of these is not possible because consciousness has no access to the processes that determine them. One can only know the reason for any of one’s actions, intentions, choices, decisions, feelings and thoughts, by indirect means such as an inference or a guess.

From Structuralism To Functionalism

Biology of Behavior

As structuralism struggled to survive the scrutiny of the scientific method, new approaches to studying the mind were sought. One important alternative was functionalism, founded by William James in the late 19th century, described and discussed in his two-volume publication The Principles of Psychology . Built on structuralisms concern for the anatomy of the mind, functionalism led to greater concern about the functions of the mind, and later on to behaviourism.

One of Jamess students, James Angell, captured the functionalist perspective in relation to a discussion of free will in his 1906 text Psychology:An Introductory Study of the Structure and Function of Human Consciousness:

Functionalism considers mental life and behaviour in terms of active adaptation to the persons environment. As such, it provides the general basis for developing psychological theories not readily testable by controlled experiments such as applied psychology. William Jamess functionalist approach to psychology was less concerned with the composition of the mind than with examining the ways in which the mind adapts to changing situations and environments. In functionalism, the brain is believed to have evolved for the purpose of bettering the survival of its carrier by acting as an information processor. In processing information the brain is considered to execute functions similar to those executed by a computer and much like what is shown in Figure 2.3 below of a complex adaptive system.

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Is Behavior Determined By Biological Processes

The capacity for certain behaviors and the tendencies for those behaviors to be shaped by specific environmental events are completely determined by a biological organ: the brain. And attachment research shows that even for human children the effect of caretaking depends upon the biological temperament of the child.

Biological Influences On The Development Of Challenging Behavior

Biological influences on challenging behavior include genetic/neurological abnormalities, illness, and injury . For example, dysregulation of specific regions of the brain has been implicated in the emergence and expression of SIB . Similarly, abnormalities in neurotransmission may be contributing factors to the emergence of stereotypy and SIB in some genetic syndromes . However, the most commonly studied biological influence on challenging behavior appears to be genetic abnormality .

In his description of the compulsive SIB often observed in individuals with the LeschNyhan syndrome, Nyhan suggested that the term behavioral phenotype should be used to describe genetically influenced syndrome-specific patterns of behavior . Challenging behavior might therefore be considered part of a syndromes behavioral phenotype if an increased probability of challenging behavior is identified in people with one specific syndrome compared to people without that syndrome when other factors are accounted for in the analysis .

Amy E. Heberle, … Alice S. Carter, in, 2020

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Personality In Individualist And Collectivist Cultures

Individualist cultures and collectivist cultures place emphasis on different basic values. People who live in individualist cultures tend to believe that independence, competition, and personal achievement are important. Individuals in Western nations such as the United States, England, and Australia score high on individualism . People who live in collectivist cultures value social harmony, respectfulness, and group needs over individual needs. Individuals who live in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America score high on collectivism . These values influence personality. For example, Yang found that people in individualist cultures displayed more personally oriented personality traits, whereas people in collectivist cultures displayed more socially oriented personality traits.

Summary Of Evidence That Consciousness Has Biological Value

Biological Basis of Behavior

Consciousness is a function of living organisms, and it is unsurprising that it is adaptive, since most functions of organisms have evolved to enhance their biological fitness. In summary, the evidence that consciousness has biological value is:

Consciousness is very complex.

Various ancillary systems have evolved in association with consciousness.

Whenever one is actively involved with events, one’s experiences are representations of them.

Self-related information, which is obviously very relevant to survival, is treated differently from all non-self information.

Consciousness appears to directly influence behavior.

We have consciousness because we have qualia, which are very unusual properties of neural states and appear to have evolved for their ability to convey important information.

We can conclude that consciousness does have biological value, though it includes no mental processes. Therefore, consciousness must have a nonexecutive biological functiona secondary or supporting role to associated neural mechanisms that do have executive functions. In the next section, I demonstrate that consciousness is a changing array of various types of information, and, incidentally, that when we analyze consciousness into its components, we find no processes of any kind.

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Evolution And Developmental Systems

Questions about evolutionary history include, at least, questions about the sequence of different kinds of organisms, questions about the ancestral relations connecting extant kinds, and questions about the causal processes resulting in the differences between ancestral kinds and their descendants. Behaviour is of most obvious relevance to the last question, both as an aspect of difference behaviour evolves and a cause of changes in all aspects of the evolving biological kind.

Key Takeaways: Biological Determinism

  • Biological determinism is the idea that biological attributes, such as ones genes, dictate ones destiny, and environmental, social, and cultural factors play no role in shaping an individual.
  • Biological determinism has been used to uphold white supremacy and justify racial, gender, and sexual discrimination as well as other biases against various groups of people.
  • Although the theory has been scientifically discredited, the idea that differences between people are based in biology still persists in various forms.

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Research Focus: Internal Versus External Focus And Performance

Within the realm of sport psychology, Gabrielle Wulf and colleagues from the University of Las Vegas Nevada have studied the role of internal and external focus on physical performance outcomes such as balance, accuracy, speed, and endurance. In one experiment they used a ski-simulator and directed participants attention to either the pressure they exerted on the wheels of the platform on which they were standing , or to their feet that were exerting the force . On a retention test, the external focus group demonstrated superior learning compared with both the internal focus group and a control group without focus instructions. The researchers went on to replicate findings in a subsequent experiment that involved balancing on a stabilometer. Again, directing participants attention externally, by keeping markers on the balance platform horizontal, led to more effective balance learning than inducing an internal focus, by asking them to try to keep their feet horizontal. The researchers showed that balance performance or learning, as measured by deviations from a balanced position, is enhanced when the performers attention is directed to minimizing movements of the platform or disk as compared to those of their feet. Since the initial studies, numerous researchers have replicated the benefits of an external focus for other balance tasks .

The authors noted:

Consciousness Can Directly Influence Actions


Conscious information can have a dominant influence on responses. We tell others about our experiences, write about our experiences, and think about our experiences, so consciousness must contribute to the generation of these behaviors . In everyday situations, one is aware of an intention to do something, and then does it. Or our feelings may interrupt our thoughts and alert us to another priority, and we may change what we are doing.

REM atoniathe blocking of messages to major muscles during REM dreams, when reality monitoring is switched offprevents us acting out our dreams , and could only have evolved because our experiences can provoke actions.

Persaud and Cowey reported experiments with a blindsight patient, GW, in which he was asked to report on a stimulus present either in his blind field or his normal field. GW was asked to say Up if the stimulus was in a lower quadrant of his visual field, or his blindsight field or Down if it was in an upper quadrant. He correctly reported the opposite location to that of the stimulus in his sighted field, but significantly more often than chance he incorrectly reported the actual quadrant when the stimulus was in his blind field. He was only able to do as instructed, and override his automatic tendency to report the actual quadrant the stimulus was in, when the stimulus was consciously detected.

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How The 4p’s Influence Consumer Behavior

The are a marketing tool, and stand for Price, Promotion, Product and Placement.

Because consumer behavior is influenced greatly by business to consumer marketing, the 4 P’s will have an effect on consumer’s behavior. The price of a good or service is largely determined by the market, as businesses will set their prices to be similar to that of other business so as to remain competitive whilst making a profit. When market prices for a product are high, it will cause consumers to purchase less and use purchased goods for longer periods of time, meaning they are purchasing the product less often. Alternatively, when market prices for a product are low, consumers are more likely to purchase more of the product, and more often.

The way that promotion influences consumer behavior has changed over time. In the past, large promotional campaigns and heavy advertising would convert into sales for a business, but nowadays businesses can have success on products with little or no advertising. This is due to the Internet, and in particular social media. They rely on word of mouth from consumers using social media, and as products trend online, so sales increase as products effectively promote themselves. Thus, promotion by businesses does not necessarily result in consumer behavior trending towards purchasing products.

Ological Issues In Studying Lesbians

Since the 1970s, researchers have begun to study the economic and social position of lesbians. Research on lesbians must first address the tricky issue of defining lesbian. A study of sexuality in the United States reveals the lack of concordance between several possible definitions . Women who are attracted sexually to other women will not necessarily act on those attractions. Women who have had sex with women may not refer to themselves as lesbians. Researchers have focused generally their attention on women who have sexual relationships with other women or who identify themselves as lesbian, depending on the historical period or on the culturally appropriate and legally relevant definition .

As a result of these problems, existing research on lesbians’ economic and social conditions must be interpreted carefully. Generalizations about all lesbians based on a nonrandom sample are inappropriate, and even generalizations from probability samples might be inappropriate if disclosure of sexual orientation on a survey is biased in some way. Furthermore, without a larger random sample of lesbians than has yet been constructed, attention to differences among lesbians based on race, ethnicity, class, or nationality, for instance, is impossible.

Carlos W. Pratt, … Melissa M. Roberts, in, 2014

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Connect The Concepts: Body Type And Temperament

Is there an association between your body type and your temperament? The constitutional perspective, which examines the relationship between the structure of the human body and behavior, seeks to answer this question . The first comprehensive system of constitutional psychology was proposed by American psychologist William H. Sheldon . He believed that your body type can be linked to your personality. Sheldons lifes work was spent observing human bodies and temperaments. Based on his observations and interviews of hundreds of people, he proposed three body/personality types, which he called somatotypes.

Figure 1. Sheldon proposed three somatotypes: endomorphs, mesomorphs, and ectomorphs. Do you think Sheldons ideas about somatotypes are generally accurate about most people?

Sheldon also conducted further research into somatotypes and criminality. He measured the physical proportions of hundreds of juvenile delinquent boys in comparison to male college students, and found that problem youth were primarily mesomorphs. Why might this be? Perhaps its because they are quick to anger and dont have the restraint demonstrated by ectomorphs. Maybe its because a person with a mesomorphic body type reflects high levels of testosterone, which may lead to more aggressive behavior. Can you think of other explanations for Sheldons findings?

What Are Social And Biological Factors That Influence Human Behavior

Biological Process in Human Body – Science (Grade 11)

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Some examples of social factors that influence human behavior include gender and race. Some examples of biological factors that influence human behavior include the drive to take care of one’s own young and other genetic influences that impact how individuals respond to an environment. Here’s more specific detail about those…

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The Biology Of Behaviour: Scientific And Ethical Implications

EMBO reports

The human brain is the most complex of all biological organs it not only gives rise to consciousnessthat most fascinating but elusive phenomenonbut also mediates our behavioural responses. The structure of the brain and its higher cognitive functions are the product of evolutionary history, embedded within the genome. One of the great scientific challenges today is therefore to integrate the results from two different lines of investigation into the biology of behaviourusing genes and the brainwith the goal of bringing both to a deeper level of understanding.

The manifold steps that lead from genes to brains to behaviour are highly complex, but scientists are gradually elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind brain structure and function. The biggest challenge now is to understand how neurons interconnect to form larger networks, and how these intricate neural structures give rise to consciousness and a sense of self. Neuroscientists are confident that they now have the tools to enable them to solve this mystery. As a background, the essay by Anne Harrington provides an illuminating historical overview of how people in the Western world have perceived the mindbody relationship .

What Are The Four Biological Explanations Of Behavior

Terms in this set

  • Physiological a behavior is related to brain activity and the reactions that occur there
  • Ontogenetic

Also, what are the biological explanations of behavior?

The biological perspective is a way of looking at psychological issues by studying the physical basis for animal and human behavior. It is one of the major perspectives in psychology and involves such things as studying the brain, immune system, nervous system, and genetics.

which biological explanation for behavior describes the development of a structure or behavior? An evolutionary explanation describes why a structure or behavior evolved. An ontogenetic explanation is one that describes the development of a structure or behavior.

In respect to this, what is the biological level of explanation?

The biological level of explanation : focuses on the biological and chemical processes underlying behaviour. The basic process level of explanation : focuses on the psychological processes that are universal across humans.

Is behavior determined by biological processes?

The capacity for certain behaviors and the tendencies for those behaviors to be shaped by specific environmental events are completely determined by a biological organ: the brain. And attachment research shows that even for human children the effect of caretaking depends upon the biological temperament of the child.

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