What is Ethology?

Ethology is a science which studies all types of innate behavior, which are instincts of animals and human beings. It is usually determined as a branch of Biology. Ethology nowadays is subdivided on Human Ethology, which is dedicated only to instincts of human beings, Zoopsychology, Sociobiology, and Evolutionary Psychology.

First Ethologists proclaimed a thought that no one had previously been interested in - the behavior of animals obeys not only their existing reflexes, since this does not explain the spontaneity and purposefulness of animal behavior. An exclusively reflex system is impossible, because the animal would simply die waiting of the desired reflex, so it is constantly in search of the key that starts the conditioned response. This search process is incorporated in the genetic program of the animal and it works much more difficult than it what thought when scientists claimed that all motivation of animals is built on the reflexes.

The innate genetic program of man is one of the most important and complex topics in ethology. Ethology proves that the opposition of culture and biology to human life is fundamentally wrong, and in fact these two areas intersect and influence each other. A newborn baby has some knowledge about humanity and about his own nature. For example, all facial expressions is already embedded in the genetic code of a person.

Study programs in Ethology

Ethology is a very young discipline. In many countries, including Russia, Ethology i still treated as an experimental science - yet in the academic tradition, the study of human behavior is divorced from study of the mechanisms of animal behavior, but some universities all over the world already provide study programs (mostly graduate) in the area of Ethology.

Several graduate study programs in Ethology can be found on our website, for example,   MA Ethology in Stockholm University, Sweden. Use the Search button to find more interesting study programs in these areas.