- 2018年05月08日18:17 来源：小站整理
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Play as Preparation Hypothesis
Evolutionary psychologists believe thatthere must be an important benefit of play, since there are so many reasons toavoid it. Animals are often injured during play, become distracted frompredators, and expend valuable energy. In rare cases, play has even beenobserved between different species that are natural enemies such as a polarbear and a dog. Yet play seems to be a normal activity with animals who occupythe higher strata of their own hierarchy of needs. Animals on the lower strata,e.g. stressed and starving animals, generally do not play.
Observing play behavior in various speciescan tell us a lot about the player's environment (including the welfare of theanimal), personal needs, social rank (if any), immediate relationships, andeligibility for mating. Play activity, often observed through action andsignals, often serves as a tool for communication and expression. Throughmimicry, chasing, biting, and touching, animals will often act out in ways soas to send messages to one another; whether it's an alert, initiation of play,or expressing intent. When play behavior was observed for a study in TonkeanMacaques, it was discovered that play signals weren't always used to initiateplay; rather, these signals were viewed primarily as methods of communication(sharing information and attention-getting).
One theory – "play aspreparation" – was inspired by the observation that play often mimicsadult themes of survival. Predators such as lions and bears play by chasing,pouncing, pawing, wrestling, and biting, as they learn to stalk and kill prey.Prey animals such as deer and zebras play by running and leaping as theyacquire speed and agility. Hoofed mammals also practice kicking their hind legsto learn to ward off attacks. While mimicking adult behavior, attacking actionssuch as kicking and biting are not completely fulfilled, so playmates do notgenerally injure each other. In social animals, playing might also help toestablish dominance rankings among the young to avoid conflicts as adults.
Test Point – TPO25L4
All right. I hope you all had a chance tofinish the assigned readings about animal play, because I want to spend sometime discussing the different viewpoints presented in those articles. Let'sstart with the play – as – preparation hypothesis. Jerry, can you explain it?
Yeah, Play-as-preparation. Young animalsplay in order to get really good at certain specific things they will need todo when they are adults, things like chasing, pouncing, climbing. In otherwords, they play in order to practice survival skills, like movements used inhunting and fighting. That hypothesis makes a lot of sense, like, maybe themost sense of all the theories we read about.
And what leads you to that conclusion?
Well, like wolves, the young pups, theyfight a lot and bite, you know, not to hurt each other, but ... It just seemsobvious why those wolf pups play like that. It gives them practice with skillsthat will make them better hunters or fighters as adults.
Oh, I don't know about that. I mean, someof the things a young animal does while playing are totally different from thethings they’ll do as an adult. There was a really good example in the secondarticle. I can't remember what it is called exactly, uh, self-...
Right. Self-handicapping. Like during afake fight, a play fight, if one of the animals is winning, the winning animalmight just stop and give up its advantage.
Yes. And often it shifts to a submissiveposture too. Of course self-handicapping hardly ever happens in a real fight.Because in a real fight, well, the point is to win. So, this self-handicapping, it is important to take this into account before just deciding togo with that first explanation. And in fact, there really isn't much in the wayof solid experimental evidence to support the play-as-preparation hypothesis.
2.没有严密的实验证据证明 play-as-preparation 理论的正确性。