Psychology | Animal Behavior
P417 | 3656 | W. Timberlake


THE COURSE: Animal behavior is a broad, integrative, field of study,
combining elements of behavioral ecology, learning, neuroscience,
evolution and genetics, development, a little anthropology, economics, and
modeling.  The course will acquaint you with some of the diversity of the
field, and its theories, models, and methods.  If you want to meet with me
outside of class, I will be available immediately after class, Tuesday
Afternoon 1:30 to 3:00, and by appointment or drop in most other
afternoons.
GRADES:  Your grade in the course will be based on a cumulative score from
three tests (25% each), and a paper (25%).  Grades will be assigned
initially on an absolute scale with cut points of 90-A, 80-B, 70-C, and
60-D.  The cut points will be lower for the final grade.  I expect you to
work hard and I intend to reward you for your work.  I recommend that you
attend class and do the readings.  Lectures and readings will cover
similar but not identical material.
TESTS:  Each test will emphasize the material covered in the immediately
preceding part of the course.  The first test will be a take home to
acquaint you with the format and grading.  If you score below 80 on the
first test, you can retake it for partial additional credit (an additional
1/2 point for each corrected point).  The tests are identification and
short answer.  They require production of what you know rather than merely
recognition.  The tests are straightforward, and I provide choices among
alternative questions.  However, It is not possible to get a good grade by
good guesses.  Thus, it is important to review your notes and the book as
we go along, and to begin studying well before the test.  I strongly
recommend you make lists of important words and memorize their definitions
as we go through class.  And that you outline the chapters and the
lectures.   I ask that you sign your tests as a statement that the answers
are your own.  Using others answers or memory aids is not acceptable.
FILMS:  Previous students in this class have requested that films about
animal behavior be shown.  So I have arranged to show films from 12:00 to
1:00 on Thursdays.  The films are primarily as an opportunity to enjoy
exposure to different animal species and the many topics in Animal
Behavior.
But some aspects of the films will help with tests, and I expect you to
attend most showings. Please let me know if there is a problem with the
time.  It is often possible to see the films at the audio visual
department.
PAPER:  You may choose between doing an account of a species (or other
taxonomic unit) and organizing your paper around  a question about the
determinants of behavior. The species paper provides an opportunity for
you to take an animal-centered view of the"life space" of a species or
genus of animals.  The easiest way to organize the paper is to cover the
categories laid out in the syllabus (evolution, genetics, development,
learning, sensory processing, etc.  The determinants paper can focus on
one sort of question about behavior, but it must deal with all four
aspects causation (mechanism, ontogeny, function, and evolution