Innate vs Learned Behaviour
Behaviour is the direct response that an organism shows to the environment or an environmental change. However, the way of responding may take place in two major ways, either as an innate behaviour or as a learned behaviour. There are many differences exhibited between these two behaviours and the most important dissimilarities are discussed in this article.
Innate behaviour is the natural response shown by an organism to a stimulus. A stimulus could be either external or internal. Innate behaviours are said to be developmentally fixed, which means such responses take place in an organism by default. One of the most common examples used to describe the innate behaviour is that a baby starts crying when they are not comfortable. It is highly advantageous for the baby who is incapable of asking for help from others verbally, but crying would gain the needed attention from parents. When the newborn child is taken close to the breast nipple of the mother, the child starts suckling. The child does not essentially have to know how it works, but the process of nourishing takes place perfectly as the suckling starts. The tickling under armpits of a particular person makes the hand close down rapidly to avoid tickling.
One of the most important features of innate behaviours is that the organism does not have to be taught about how to respond to stimuli those trigger innate behaviours. Innate behaviours are important for the breeders and keepers of captive animals. Animals have their own set of innate behaviours, which cannot be prevented from taking place when the relevant stimulus is there. If the animal’s response would be dangerous, the stimulus could be prevented; otherwise the advantageous behaviours could be triggered.
Behaviours that have been developed as results of learning by the animal itself or teaching by someone else are the learned behaviours. Most of the mammals, especially humans and primates, show an array of learned behaviours. The involvement of the voluntary nervous system, especially the brain, is important in learned behaviours. Most of the behaviours that humans show are learned behaviours. Speech, movement by walking, playing games, reading, writing, and many other behaviours of humans are learned behaviours. With the evolution being proceeded, animals with large brain capacities have been thriving as they could develop learned behaviours. These behaviours can modify the innate behaviours to yield better results than previous states. A child starts crying as an innate behaviour, but with age the child learns that crying would benefit him/her. Therefore, the way of crying is modified according to the need of the child, so that, the treating would be aptly taken place.
These are well conditioned responses to previously studied stimuli. Innately crying behaviour of a child for stomachache is changed into non-crying medicine seeking learned behaviour with age as a result of learning. Innately inherited behaviours, such as physical guarding by hand to prevent being hit from an object, can be modified to as a learned behaviour in a game of boxing or baseball to score points. When most of the behaviours are thought of, it could be envisaged that the highest percentage belongs to the learned behaviours.
What is the difference between Innate and Learned Behaviour?
• Innate behaviour comes natural or by default but learned behaviour should be developed with experience.
• Innate behaviours cannot be modified, but those are called learned behaviours when modifications are done. On the other hand, learned behaviours can easily be modified.
• Innate behaviours may or may not have the direct involvement of the brain but learned behaviours definitely do have.