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Olesya Schepina
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    Olesya Schepina


Shchepina Olesya

Department of Psychology, Novosibirsk State University,
Institute of Cytology & Genetics, Laboratory of Evolutionary genetics, Novosibirsk, Russia

The problem
The factor of ambiguity is existing in most serious questions. There are a lot of definitions of ambiguity situation. But in this work the factor of ambiguity is determined as a lack of information. A person can choose avoid or research strategy of behavior to cope with ambiguity of situation. What kind of factors can have effect on person for choosing of behavioral strategy in ambiguity situation? Especially it is difficult to see endowment of hereditary factors of a person. That is why it becomes actual the using of genetic models of animals.Usually there are 3 positions in researching of behavioral strategies: behavioral level, emotional and cognitive level. But unfortunately the most of theoretical and empirical investigations view only cognitive consequences of ambiguity situation. As for behavioral effects, then it is consideration of activity and its moving forces inside ambiguity situation.

The comparison of choice of behavioral strategies of man and animals in ambiguity situation.

The object 1:
The endowment of factors (such as aggressiveness, anxiety and temperament) in choice of strategy of behavior of a person in ambiguity situation.

The object 2:
The endowment of factors (such as aggressiveness, anxiety) in choice of behavior strategy of animals in ambiguity situation.

The object 3:
The comparison of endowment of investigated factors (aggressiveness, anxiety) in choice of strategy of behavior of a person and animals.

-         to work up experimental situation of ambiguity,
-         to single out behavioral factors, which can reflect different behavioral strategies,
-         to find personal features,which could be typical for different behavioral strategies,
-         to interrelate behavioral features and strategies of behavior using experimental models of animals.

This work consists of 2 parts: biological part and psychological part.

1.1.Materials and methods:

1.1.1. Genetic models of animals:
Adult gray male rats of 58th generation selected for: (1) increase of aggressive reaction (aggressive rats); (2) absence of aggressive reaction (tame rats).

1.1.2. Behavioral tests:
Behavior was analysed in test of open field (TOF) and light dark box (LDT): horizontal locomotion ; vertical locomotion; grooming.
Animals were testing 2 times in TOF (on first and second day). TOF was viewed as situation of novelty (ambiguity situation).

1.1.3. Data analysis:
Video and computer analysis of behavior: there was used computer program, which was counting the latency, number, time and medium of every behavioral variable.
Statistic analysis: ANOVA with Post-hoc analysis (independent factor genotype (aggressive and tame rats); dependent factor showings of moving activity), correlation analysis (Spearman).

1.2. The results:
Test of open field:
The analysis of horizontal and vertical activity has shown that aggressive rats were more active in open field, but its activity was directed to avoidance of novel situation. As for tame rats, all its behavioral variable have shown investigative strategy of behavior.

The light dark box:
Tame rats have shown low level of anxiety (the latency of entry to dark part was higher than latency of aggressive rats (p<0,01), time of being into dark part was less (p<0,05), number of entries to dark part was less than aggressive rats had (p<0,01)). Analysis ofbehavior into light part of test has shown also that aggressive rats have high level of anxiety in comparison with tame rats.
The correlation analysis of behavioral patterns in TOF and LDT have shown reliable positive correlations: for example the patterns (which have demonstrated avoidance behavior in TOF) had shown reliable positive correlations with variables in LDT(which have shown high level of anxiety of aggressive rats).

Testing people:
There were 2-4 year students from different faculties. Age: 18 21. There were 15 males and 15 females, who were participating in individual experiments (people who was attracted by ambiguity of situation situation of a lack of information).

2.1.Materials and methods:
2.1.1.      The experiment ambiguity situation:
It was a room at the university, where experiment had to be. A testing person didnt know the type of experiment and its target. A testing person only knew where experiment would be and at what time it should be. A person came to that experimental room, but experimenter arrived 15 minutes late. The duration of each experiment was 15 minutes. The heart of experiment was in these 15 minutes in experimentator absence. Pilot experiment has shown that 15 minutes is enough for demonstration of behavioral strategies.

2.1.2.      Observation:
There was registration of such behavioral variables as move activity, sitting, standing in experimental room and outside (near experimental room - hall). Also it was registration of other parameters (going-over, interaction with first camera, individual actions). There were 2 cameras (1 inside the experimental room, 2 outside, in hall). So it was possible to record whole behavior of testing person during experimental situation. First camera wasnt invisible, but testing person had to be more attentive to notice camera, which was inside the experimental room.

2.1.3.      Psychological tests:
(1) Buss-Durkey Inventory(it is aimed at measuring of aggressiveness and hostility), (2) short version of MBTI Kersy(temperament), (3) Lüscher Farbwahl Test, (4) STAI (test of anxiety).
All tests have russian adaptation.

2.1.4.      Video and computer analysis of behavior: there was used computer program, which was counting the latency, number, time and medium of every behavioral variable.

2.1.5.      Statistic analysis: Mann-Whitney U test, Correlation analysis(Spearman).

2.2.       The results:
The sex differences were not found in our experiment.

Buss-Durkey Inventory and behavioral activity: Spearman correlation
There was found positive correlation between hostility index and general time of being outside, in hall (r=0,48, p=0,009).
Also it was positive correlation of hostility with time (r=0,43, p=0,008) and number of move activity (r=0,43, p=0,02). And positive correlation was found between: hostility index and number of stops (r=0,57, p=0,001), hostility and time of standing (r=0,61, p=0,0003). Such often changing of position can show the problem of place finding.
The scale of jealousy (the component of hostility index) had positive correlation with the same behavioral variables as hostility index, and it was negative correlation with general time of being in the experimental room (r= - 0,38, p=0,04) and number of stops in the room (r= - 0,37, p=0,04).
As for index of aggressiveness, it wasnt found reliable correlation with behavioral variables.

Temperament (Kersy):
It wasnt found any reliable information about correlations in our experiment. It can depend on little sample.

STAI (test of anxiety) and behavioral variables:Spearman correlation
We have got positive correlation between: level of personal anxiety (PA) and number of movements in the hall (r=0,37, p=0,04), PA and time of standing in the hall (r=0,41, p=0,02), PA and mean time of standing in the hall (r=0,42, p=0,02). IT was found negative correlation between: PA and time of sitting in the experimental room (r= - 0,38, p=0,04), PA and number of times when person sit down on the chair in the experimental room (r= - 0,50, p=0,006).

Lüscher Farbwahl Test:
This test we used two times: 1 after experiment, 2 after testing procedure. There wasnt found any reliable differences between first and second testing. It can tell that experimental situation had so strong effect on person, that it was lack of enough time for changing situation. Or it can tell than situation wasnt so strong for changing of attitude to situation after testing.May be it is better to think about second variant of explanation, because the mean level of reactive stress (STAI) was very low.
Thus, we have picked out two groups (Mann-Whitney U test): (1) testing people with high hostility index and high level of personal anxiety, (2) people with low hostility index and low level of personal anxiety. Testing people of first group usually were being outside, in the hall. They were often changing their position (moving, standing) the problem of choosing of place, and they were avoiding experimental room (didnt go to this room, had preference of hall). That is why we named strategy of this first group as active avoidance.It was active avoidance, because we name simple going off by passive avoidance, when person hadnt any attempt to wait, to find experimentator. But unfortunately there were only 3 testing person who went off (it is not enough for statistic analysis). As for second group, we named their strategy as waiting. People of waiting strategy were most of time in the experimental room, so they didnt avoid experimental situation (experimental room with camera). Testing people of second group were looking round, were playing with camera in the room, and then (after investigation of experimental room) they began to wait of experimentator inside the room.
So, the choice of behavioral strategy depends on the personal anxiety and index of hostility, i.e. thehigher anxiety and hostility the more intensive level of behavioral activity, which is not directed to solution of ambiguity situation.

We have found that choice of strategy of behavior is correlating with level of personal anxiety and hostility.
The testing students, who were with high level of personal anxiety and hostility, have shown avoid strategy of behavior, they have chosen hall instead of experimental room. The behavior of this group was characterized by high level of move activity and by often changing of position (to go, to stay or to sit).
Testing students, who have chosen experimental room, had low level of anxiety, hostility and jealousy. They didnt show high move activity and they were sitting inside the room with their own occupations.
The using of genetic behavioral models of behavior have shown that rats, selecting for high aggressive behavior, had avoid strategy of behavior in novel situation (TOF). Aggressive rats had high locomotion and emotionality.
Aggressive rats were more anxious than tame rats. The index of anxiety (in test light dark box) had positive correlation with level of locomotion in test of open field.
So, level of aggression effects on the choice of behavioral strategy of animals (rats), and level of hostility is connecting with the choice of behavioral strategy of person. Both parts of researchhave shown that level of anxiety has correlations with aggression of animals (second research part) and with level of hostility (first research part), in that way it can effect on the choice of behavioral strategy in ambiguity situation.
Thus, we suppose that there are biological determinants which effect on choice of behavioral strategy of a person.

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