Reaction 04: Animal Learning And Morality

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Week 04: Reaction Paper – Animal Learning and Morality Summary Learning is one of the basis of survival and is strongly featured in evolution and natural selection, it affects the way animals behave and the actions they undertake. Starting with Individual Learning which seems to have a strong base in Conditioning whereby one learns to associate a certain stimulus with a specific result. Blocking, Overshadowing and Latent Inhibition are just some of the factors that can affect the conditioning of an animal (Dugatkin, 2014, pp. 134-138). Cultural Transmission takes place when animals learn from each other; rats sniffing one another to find out what foods are safe to eat, this enables multiple rats to increase their chances of survival by being…show more content…
As seen in a monkey who receives cucumber while another receives better tasting grapes for the same task of passing rocks to a researcher has shown that monkeys do have understand the concept of fairness, with the monkey receiving cucumber protesting and showing signs of frustration (TED, 2012). This is also seen in dogs in an experiment where a pair of dogs were rewarded differently for the same action, the dog in the unfair treatment condition refused to cooperate after realising that it was not being rewarded. In animal cooperation, we have seen rats helping their kin out from a plastic tube even in the presence of food which the rat would share with its freed companion (Documentary Films, 2014). As altruistic as this may seem, we have to take into account that the rats were in a lab setting with no threat of predators, this might make them more inclined to free their kin as they simply have nothing else to do aside from that. That or the rat was motivated by the evolutionary instinct that there is safety in numbers and that the continued survival of another rat would mean greater survival for their species as a whole, this is in line with the concept of Indirect Fitness (Dugatkin, 2014, p.
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