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Lunchroom Behavior Lab

Task: You will be observing the elusive species Homo sapiens in its natural
environment (the lunch room). The male and female of the species will be studied.
You must document at least one example for each of the terms listed below. Be as
detailed as possible in your descriptions and draw a picture if necessary. You may use
your notes to get a definition of the terms, and additional paper may be needed for
your observations. Document every note clearly and in an organized manner to help
with the ease of analyzing your data. Remember: Do not disturb or interact with the
organisms you are observing as this might compromise your data.
Question: What are the behaviors of the species Homo sapiens?
Types of behavior
Independent Variable: _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________________
Observations and examples
Dependent Variable: _______________________________________________

________________________________________________________________
Environment, high school students
Controls: ________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________
Data:
If you are unable to make an observation for a behavior, then record an observation
that you think would fit for that behavior. Be sure to make a note that it was not
directly observed.

Behaviors
Fixed Action
Patterns

Observations
Anytime the subject appears to come in
contact with a friend, the specimen raises
its eyebrows as a sort of greeting. This
happens no matter who the person is.

Sign stimulus
For the "eyebrow flash" fixed action pattern,
the subject's sign stimulus is making eye
contact with a peer.

Kinesis

Taxis

Signals

Specimen appear to walk slower when in the


company of friends, and faster if a friend is spotted
across the room.

Specimen walk to a specific spot that they deem


worthy of their seat when they see the
lunchroom.

This particular specimen appears to be very


flamboyant with his hands. Signaling whatever it is
he's trying to say.

Communication
Subject spotted peer, initiated the "eyebrow
flash" and the proceeded to run and hug the
peer.

Courtship
behaviors

Innate behavior

The specimen is eating lunch with what appears to


be his mate. They share food. And he places his
hand on her thigh.

Subject flinches when friend appears to attack.


Result of natural instinct to protect the face from
harm.

Habituation
Subject does not notice the sound of the rest
of the lunchroom while he eats.

Spatial learning

Classical
conditioning

Operant
conditioning

Cognition /
Problem solving

Subjects have developed their own "seating


chart in the lunchroom

Student appears to grow hungry during the lunch


period due to being used to eating at that time.

Subject has learned that putting money


in this machine will give them food.

Subject could not open a package so she


asked another nearby to open it for her.

Foraging

Subjects proceed to the lunch line where they


decide the food they prefer

Dominance
hierarchy
The subjects are watched over by the elders in
the school.

Sexual
dimorphism
(Sexual
selection)

Agonistic
behavior
(Territoriality)

Females are more curved in body structure. Males


are more muscular.

Subject appears to give a glare to another


that attempts to sit next to it

Altruism
Subject took the trays for his whole table knowing
it would be heavy

Social learning
Two males cooperated to make the female feel
uncomfortable. They have learned that this
situation causes laughter

Discussion: Turn the answers to the questions into a paragraph


1. What did you learn about animal behavior from completing this lab
activity?
2. What was the most common behavior that you observed?
3. What was the most surprising behavior that you observed?
4. Were there any patterns that emerged from studying the Homo
sapiens? (For example: females of the species all act one way where
as the males act a different way when eating) If not, explain why
you think there werent any patterns.
5. Did this lab activity help you learn the concepts and vocabulary better
for this topic? Why or why not?
Discussion

Animals always have a reason for doing someone they do. Whether it be
for survival or because of a stimulus. Also I learned that animal behavior is
predictable.

The most common behavior I observed was spatial learning. The subjects
were always keeping track of where they were sitting at.