• ethology
  • The study of animal behaviour in a natural context.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Behaviourism as a term also describes the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually referring to measured responses to stimuli or to trained behavioural responses in a laboratory context, without a particular emphasis on evolutionary adaptivity. Throughout history, different naturalists have studied aspects of animal behaviour. Ethology has its scientific roots in the work of Charles Darwin and of American and German ornithologists of the late 19th and early 20th century, including Charles O. Whitman, Oskar Heinroth, and Wallace Craig. The modern discipline of ethology is generally considered to have begun during the 1930s with the work of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologists Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch, the three recipients of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ethology combines laboratory and field science, with a strong relation to some other disciplines such as neuroanatomy, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ethologists typically show interest in a behavioural process rather than in a particular animal group, and often study one type of behaviour, such as aggression, in a number of unrelated species. Ethology is a rapidly growing field. Since the dawn of the 21st century researchers have re-examined and reached new conclusions in many aspects of animal communication, emotions, culture, learning and sexuality that the scientific community long thought it understood. New fields, such as neuroethology, have developed. Understanding ethology or animal behaviour can be important in animal training. Considering the natural behaviours of different species or breeds enables trainers to select the individuals best suited to perform the required task. It also enables trainers to encourage the performance of naturally occurring behaviours and the discontinuance of undesirable behaviours.

    動物行動学(どうぶつこうどうがく、英: ethology)は、生物の行動を研究する生物学の一分野。日本では伝統的に動物行動学と訳されているが、原語のエソロジーはギリシャ語の ethos(エートス:特徴、気質)に由来し、特に動物に限定するニュアンスがない。そのため行動生物学(主に医学領域)または単に行動学とも呼ばれるほか、時に比較行動学の訳語が当てられたり、訳語の混乱を嫌って欧名のままエソロジーと呼ぶ場合もある。英語ではエソロジーの説明として動物行動学(study of animal behavioral patterns)としている。 人間の行動を社会科学的に研究する行動科学とは、関連性はあるものの別の学問である(behavioristics も「行動学」と訳されるが、ここで言う行動学(ethology)とは別のものである)。ただし、動物行動学の方法論をヒト研究に応用した「人間行動学」(英: human ethology)という分野もある。