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Ethological and Comparative Perspectives on Honey Bee Learning

  • James L. Gould

Abstract

Ethologists are concerned with the mechanisms and evolution of behavior. They presuppose that natural selection will have acted as much on behavior as on morphology and physiology (Darwin, 1872). In consequence, some aspects of behavior are likely to be species specific, “tuned” to the contingencies of an animal’s niche. Traditional behavioristic psychologists, on the other hand, focus more narrowly on learning and emphasize species-independent behavior in their search for a general-process theory of learning. I have argued that the terminology and results from each perspective are complementary and are useful together in analyzing invertebrate learning. Studies of vertebrates can help illuminate learning in insects, and vice versa (Gould, 1986a).

Keywords

Conditioning Stimulus Unconditioned Stimulus Comparative Perspective Unconditioned Response Cabbage Butterfly 
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  • James L. Gould

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