Tuesday, September 3, 2019
James v. Lorenz :: essays research papers
William James and Konrad Lorenz are at a cafÃ © in the middle of Piccadilly Circus having coffee, smoking cigars, deep in conversation. J: What say you about this Konrad, I have a Scotch terrier that used to live in the barn, and I recently moved him into my home. In the barn, he had this nasty little habit of burying things into the ground, and upon being moved into the house continued with the same behavior. After a few days, he eventually stopped trying to dig altogether. How would you explain this? L: I believe that your carpet was not the right stimulus for your beloved terrier. An animal needs to have a specific stimulus in order to elicit a certain response; in this case, the dirt would elicit the digging. Because the dog was not in an environment that had dirt readily available to him to be able to dig, he had no need to do so. J: Okay, but why did he continue, if even for a few days, to try to dig into my carpet and deposit useless items such as gloves into the floor? L: He was so used to digging in your barn that he continued to do so in your house. The intensity of the stimulus changed, so the response followed suit and changed as well. J: But that is like my fly-wheel of society, he kept on trying to dig into my carpet because he was used to doing itÃ¢â¬ ¦but then that is considered to be a habit and not an instinct. L: It was instinctive for him to bury in the barn not only because he had the right stimulus to elicit the digging, but also what was he burying in the barn? Food, I suppose. I believe that if you take for example the concealment response of Corvids, you will see that some animals purposely hide their food so that in the future, they can retrieve it if necessary. Because as you know of course, that unlike domestic animals, wild animals need to search for their food in order to survive. Your terrier was doing as much in trying to hide his food in the barn, probably because there were other animals that were present and he assumed they might try to take his food. After having been in your home for a few days, he realized that there was no need to continue with the act of burying items such as gloves because it was useless.