While scientists have been seriously observing animal behavior for well over a hundred years, the study of why animals play has only recently become a serious research topic. At least three different theories have been advanced to explain the phenomenon.
The first theory is called the surplus energy theory. This theory maintains that some animals, mammals for example, are so efficient at using energy that they often do not manage to spend all the energy they receive through food. They end up with unused, surplus energy that they cannot store. According to this theory, animals have to play to get rid of the surplus energy that they have not used.
A second theory is called the instinct-practice theory. It states that young animals play as part of their physical education. The physical actions that animals will need to use for survival are instinctual, that is, preprogrammed in their brains. The animals, however, have to train their bodies to be able to perform these actions. So this theory explains why the play of young animals centers on real-life tasks. For example, predatory animalsthose that hunt, kill, and consume other animals for foodhave often been observed attacking and biting during play, which are precisely the skills they will need in order to hunt for food.
A third theory, called the social functions theory, is that animals play to establish social relationships within their group. Basically, play gives animals a chance to bond with the other members in their group. For example, in a study of rats, those that played together made high-pitched squeaks that were accompanied by the release of pleasure-causing chemicals in the brain. This association of play with pleasure may motivate the animals to stay together as a harmonious group even while not playing.
In the lecture, the professor casts doubt on the reading passage’s idea that the three theories can explain why the animals play. The professor asserts that these three theories based on false predictions which weaken their validity.
Firstly, the reading mentions that the surplus energy theory accounts for why animals play. In a sense, they play due to their need to spend the unused energy. However, the lecturer declares that some animals’ same behaviors cannot be explained by this theory. For instance, the seals, which need to spend the majority of their day time waiting their mother to bring about food from a distant area, they totally intake no energy, thus they have no surplus energy. However, they still play.
Secondly, the author of the reading passage pints out that the instinct-practice theory can be the reason of animals’ play behavior. It means that animals practice their physical actions which can be used in hunting through playing. While the professor notes that some animals are exceptions, such as the cats. For example, in an experiment, the researchers allowed one group of cats playing with each other, while did not allow another group of cats to play. In the end, the cats in the first group which supposed to be better at hunting were not more skilled in hunting than the ones in another group.
Finally, opposing the author’s opinion that the social function theory can explain the phenomenon because animals need to socialize with others by playing, the lecturer contends that although some rats need to socialize, there is no need for them to satisfy the demand by playing. This is because they can even develop social abilities after they reach an age that they will not play any more.
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Transition Words or Phrases used:
finally, first, firstly, however, second, secondly, so, still, thus, while, for example, for instance, such as
Attributes: Values AverageValues Percentages(Values/AverageValues)% => Comments
Performance on Part of Speech:
To be verbs : 8.0 10.4613686534 76% => OK
Auxiliary verbs: 12.0 5.04856512141 238% => Less auxiliary verb wanted.
Conjunction : 0.0 7.30242825607 0% => More conjunction wanted.
Relative clauses : 14.0 12.0772626932 116% => OK
Pronoun: 27.0 22.412803532 120% => Less pronouns wanted
Preposition: 35.0 30.3222958057 115% => OK
Nominalization: 3.0 5.01324503311 60% => More nominalizations (nouns with a suffix like: tion ment ence ance) wanted.
Performance on vocabulary words:
No of characters: 1470.0 1373.03311258 107% => OK
No of words: 290.0 270.72406181 107% => OK
Chars per words: 5.06896551724 5.08290768461 100% => OK
Fourth root words length: 4.12666770723 4.04702891845 102% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.50653367387 2.5805825403 97% => OK
Unique words: 158.0 145.348785872 109% => OK
Unique words percentage: 0.544827586207 0.540411800872 101% => OK
syllable_count: 434.7 419.366225166 104% => OK
avg_syllables_per_word: 1.5 1.55342163355 97% => OK
A sentence (or a clause, phrase) starts by:
Pronoun: 5.0 3.25607064018 154% => OK
Article: 9.0 8.23620309051 109% => OK
Subordination: 2.0 1.25165562914 160% => OK
Conjunction: 0.0 1.51434878587 0% => OK
Preposition: 4.0 2.5761589404 155% => OK
Performance on sentences:
How many sentences: 14.0 13.0662251656 107% => OK
Sentence length: 20.0 21.2450331126 94% => OK
Sentence length SD: 60.4302600237 49.2860985944 123% => OK
Chars per sentence: 105.0 110.228320801 95% => OK
Words per sentence: 20.7142857143 21.698381199 95% => OK
Discourse Markers: 7.85714285714 7.06452816374 111% => OK
Paragraphs: 4.0 4.09492273731 98% => OK
Language errors: 0.0 4.19205298013 0% => OK
Sentences with positive sentiment : 9.0 4.33554083885 208% => Less positive sentences wanted.
Sentences with negative sentiment : 3.0 4.45695364238 67% => OK
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 2.0 4.27373068433 47% => OK
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?
Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.18762027776 0.272083759551 69% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.0741406938569 0.0996497079465 74% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.0485350301462 0.0662205650399 73% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.117385048643 0.162205337803 72% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.0285552990539 0.0443174109184 64% => OK
automated_readability_index: 12.8 13.3589403974 96% => OK
flesch_reading_ease: 59.64 53.8541721854 111% => OK
smog_index: 3.1 5.55761589404 56% => Smog_index is low.
flesch_kincaid_grade: 9.9 11.0289183223 90% => OK
coleman_liau_index: 12.13 12.2367328918 99% => OK
dale_chall_readability_score: 8.28 8.42419426049 98% => OK
difficult_words: 67.0 63.6247240618 105% => OK
linsear_write_formula: 8.0 10.7273730684 75% => OK
gunning_fog: 10.0 10.498013245 95% => OK
text_standard: 10.0 11.2008830022 89% => OK
What are above readability scores?
Rates: 80.0 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 24.0 Out of 30
Note: the e-grader does NOT examine the meaning of words and ideas. VIP users will receive further evaluations by advanced module of e-grader and human graders.