A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys

Essay topics: A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings. Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence). The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

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A study that tried to establish a relationship between hormonal levels of first new born monkeys and human babies showed that there is an increased level of the hormone Cortisol when these subjects faced unfamiliar or stimulating situations. This argument provides with some conclusions based on some study findings but lacks proper correlation between them. What has been studied and concluded for monkeys’ does not indicate that humans must possess the same characteristics.

The argument posits that a study of eighteen monkeys has found an increased level of Cortisol. But concluding that based on a sample size of eighteen is not justified. A sample size is generally a large number, with possibly variegated characteristics among the sample for accurate results. This argument does not give a clear picture as to what constituted the eighteen samples and factors that have been considered in selecting the sample.

Considering monkeys as the subjects, it is not clearly mentioned as to what constitutes a “stimulating situation”. It may not be true that all the monkeys display similar results for different stimulating situations. Secondly it isn’t mentioned how many of the eighteen monkeys are parents, first born and how many belong to other orders. It is possible that the increase in cortisol level among the monkeys can be accounted for some other factors as well such as environment conditions, their age, etc.

Human infants, on the other hand, when faced with unfamiliar situation, exhibit higher levels of cortisol level. Though the hormone Cortisol is present in both the monkeys and humans, the stimulus in both the cases can be different. It is not mentioned in the argument that Humans and monkeys possess similar hormonal reactions to the stimulus. Likewise, the stimulus considered in the argument is different for both the cases. It could be helpful in this case if the number of infants studied is given. For example, we cannot generalize the conclusion if only a very few babies, say twenty - were studied for the hormonal changes, for the entire population. Also the fact that first time pregnant monkey mothers had higher levels of cortisol does not clearly indicate a relationship with that of the offspring’s cortisol levels. This may be possible but based on the given information, but it does not mean that the same is true in case of humans.

Hence, for the given information, there can be many reasons for the findings. These results can be varying in many different circumstances and an extensive study needs to be done to conclusively establish the above mentioned results with respect to birth order of offspring.

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Well, again, it is not right on the points.

The goal of the statement is to prove:

The birth order can affect an individual's levels of stimulation.

Then it gives three assumptions:

(1) In stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings;

(2) Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence).

(3) The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring."

So the alternative explanations could be:

1. Maybe not because of the birth order, but because first born infant monkeys,first-time mother monkeys,and firstborn humans all belong to the same biological species - primates.

2. The age difference can play a major role. Look, all of them are talking about first born infant monkeys,first-time mother monkeys,or firstborn humans. Maybe all different siblings produce different amounts of hormone cortisol.

3. Maybe it is related to particular situations because the conditions are like: meeting with an unfamiliar monkey, reunion with a parent after an absence, and first-time birth of baby monkeys.

You may re-write the essay if you want to.

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Essay topic:

A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings. Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence). The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

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The argumet presents some observations to infer that first born monkeys usually have higher level of stimulation hormones than the next siblings.

Even though it seems that cause and effect are well related in this argument, some points are missing and probably other explanations could rationalize the observations.

First obeservation is that when older infants see and unfamiliar monkey they tend to secrete more cortisol. Seeing an unfamiliar monkey might have many meanings. For example, if all of the siblings are facing this unfamiliar monkey, it is natural that older siblings incline to protect the younger ones. Perhaps, this could be one reason why first born monkeys produce more cortisol in such situations. In another, it is possible that the unfamiliar monkey is a prospective mate for the first-born and this simply causes the first-born to produce more hormone. Since exprementing on only 18 monkeys is not much, and also there is no information about the attributes of the unfamilair monkey and situations, the conclusion is not persuasive and the mentioned alternatives are all likely to be the reason.

The second inference about generating more hormone when seeing a parent by older sibling is not spported well. It is clear that usually all the siblings get excited to the same extent while visting their parents which has been absent for long. Hence, maybe this difference in cortisol level is due to difference in age. Particulary, it is possible that until some age the amount of this hormone increase as the monkey ages. As a result, younger siblings do not generate more hormone because the proportion is still low in their bodies.

Finally, the discussion about the first time mothers might be flawed. A reasonable explanation could be the circumstances the mother monkey is experiencing during pregnancy. For example, if we examine the hormone levels in a mother monkey that is giving birth two its third infant while the previous two infants have died during pregnancy, it is possible that its hormone levels are even higher than a first time mother. More specifically, the amount of fear or unfamiliraity with the situation could be responsible for secreting more hormone during pregnancy.

All in all, in order to draw more accurate conclusions it is need to have more information about other aspects of all the monkey participating in the experiment. Obviously, many other factors including situtaion of the experiment, mental history of monkeys and age could alter the results drasically. Thus, these evidens are not likely to lead us to a unique explanation for the observations.