BEHAVIOUR: NORMALITY-PATHOLOGY: EMERGENCES
These emergences are the result of the debate hold on the Applied-ethology network.
Click here for the text of the discussion.
Debate on the Applied-ethology network [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Compilation by Dr Joël Dehasse (dvm) - Brussels
- email@example.com -
A pathology is any deviation from an animal population
common pattern of behaviour.
The word "pathology" is not the counterpart
of the word "normalcy"
Not normal may be better described as strange, peculiar,
A normal behaviour occurs when an animal's environment
matches that for which it is genetically programmed, other behaviours
Is normal behaviour positive or negative (anthropomorphic
interpretation and emotional value) ?
There may be a confusion between "normal"
and "common" behaviour.
Aberrant behaviour can tell us much about the suitability
of the environment.
Normal behaviour can be predicted with reasonable
certainty within a given population. Pathological behaviour can
often be the origin of normal behaviour.
The animal is attempting to cope. It's attempts may
be appropriate, inappropriate, successful or unsuccessful, it
may suffer or become sick, have reduced reproductive potential,
Normal is any behaviour that isn't the result of
Normalcy is not a term that applies to behaviour.
Behaviours are appropriate or inappropriate.
Normal is the reverse of abnormal. Pathological is
the reverse of physiological.
The concept of normality/abnormality could be explained
in terms of statistics, or in ethical terms (good or wrong), or
in social norms.
A physiological behaviour is adapted to the present
situation (trying to cope, search for another equilibrium).
A behaviour that is not adapted, induce pathology,
or worsen welfare, is pathological.
A behaviour is pathological if it arises below the
range of statistical or social normality.
Normal behaviour may be the naturally selected rules
of response as a basis for the animal's decisions.
Animals can be flexible in their responses, but only
up to a point.
A normal behaviour is physiological, adaptive, and
allows the system to come back to homeostasis. A pathological
behaviour has lost its adaptive function, and is not able to lead
the system to come back to homeostasis. The system may be seen
as an individual animal, a family/pack/..., a species, ...