New Aspects of Human Ethology

New Aspects of Human Ethology

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Rough-and-tumble play provided one of the paradigmatic examples of the appli- tion of ethological methods, back in the 1970's. Since then, a modest number of - searchers have developed our knowledge of this kind of activity, using a variety of methods, and addressing some quite fundamental questions about age changes, sex diff- ences, nature and function of behaviour. In this chapter I will review work on this topic, mentioning particularly the interest in comparing results from different informants and different methods of investigation. Briefly, rough-and-tumble play (or RaT for short) refers to a cluster of behaviours whose core is rough but playful wrestling and tumbling on the ground; and whose general characteristic is that the behaviours seem to be agonistic but in a non-serious, playful c- text. The varieties of RaT, and the detailed differences between rough-and-tumble play and real fighting, will be discussed later. 2. A BRIEF HISTORY OF RESEARCH ON RaT In his pioneering work on human play, Groos (1901) described many kinds of rough-and-tumble play. However, RaT was virtually an ignored topic from then until the late 1960's. There was, of course, a flowering of observational research on children in the 1920s and 1930s, especially in North America; but this research had a strong practical o- entation, and lacked the cross-species perspective and evolutionary orientation present in Groos' work.The Lockean conviction that human beings come into the world as blank slates and that education could achieve wonders, ... We a€œunderstanda€ each other and are touched by poetry, love stories and other creation of art, even when produced by persons from other cultures. ... It stimulated research and basic concepts such as that of the template, the motor generator system, and self differentiation as well anbsp;...

Title:New Aspects of Human Ethology
Author:Klaus Atzwanger, Karl Grammer, Katrin Schäfer, Alain Schmitt
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2007-11-23


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