7 Pages

Species-Typical Behavior

That behavior varies by species is both a basic proposition and a basic finding of comparative psychology. Implicit in the idea of behavioral variation across species is the complementary idea of behavioral similarity within species. The two ideas form a complex, neither element of which fully makes sense without the other. The second element of the complex, the idea of be­ havioral similarity within species, is the central focus of the concept of species-typical behavior. The concept refers to behaviors that typify or characterize entire species and that, in the realm of behavior, provide each species with its dis­ tinctive character among all others.