If you have never heard of Animal Psychology as a field in psychology, it may because there are other terms, Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology, for example, being used to mean similar things. If you still have doubts, I recommend that you take a look at two journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Journal of Comparative Psychology “publishes original empirical and theoretical research from a comparative perspective on the behavior, cognition, perception, and social relationships of diverse species. ” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes “publishes experimental and theoretical studies concerning all aspects of animal behavior processes. Studies of associative, nonassociative, cognitive, perceptual, and motivational processes are welcome. “Another research journal indicating the place of basic psychological concepts in the field of animal behavior is Animal Learning and Behavior It “publishes experimental and theoretical contributions and critical reviews that cover the broad categories of animal learning, cognition, motivation, emotion, and comparative animal behavior.Order now
Specific topics include classical and operant conditioning, discrete-trial instrumental learning, habituation, exploratory behavior, early experience, social and sexual behavior, imprinting, and territoriality. ” Considering the fact that, biologically speaking, humans are animals, it is only natural that psychology, the science that devotes itself to the study of the human mind and human behavior, also be involved in the study of non-human animals. However, the perspective of psychology is unique compared with that of the other disciplines involved in animal behavior studies. Psychologists study animal behavior to enhance our knowledge of human physiology and psychology.
In fact, animal research has already enhanced our understanding of human learning and intelligence, stress, and behavior such as aggression and reproduction. Furthermore, psychologists are currently applying animal behavioral knowledge to enhancing the well-beings of humans in areas of “Animal Assisted Therapy” and “Animal Assisted Activities”. Behavioral psychologists, along with clinical psychologists and professionals from other areas of animal science have joint their efforts in areas of applied companion animal ethology, psychology and behavioral therapy. Like psychologists in other areas *aa010500a. htm*, animal psychologists who have obtained a Ph.
D. usually engage in three types of work: teaching, research, and applied work. Although it is most likely for animal psychologists to find teaching positions in departments of psychology, biology, and zoology, there are also opportunities in departments of anthropology, sociology, entomology, animal and poultry science, wildlife biology, and ecology, or in medical or veterinary colleges. Research opportunities usually lie in universities, research institutions (both government and private), zoos, conservation groups, and museums. Research areas range from purely scientific to more applied. For animal psychologists interested in applied work, there are a variety of career fields for them: companion animal behavior consultancy, livestock production, managing wildlife populations, treating the behavioral problems of pets or other domestic animals.
The Animal Behavior Society (ABA */gi/dynamic/offsite. htm?site=http://www. cisab. indiana. edu/ABS/index.
html*) has certification programs for those working in the clinical animal behavior field (i. e. , working with animals with behavioral problems). To become a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist requires either a doctoral degree from an accredited college or university in a biological or behavioral science with an emphasis on animal behavior and five years of professional experience, or a doctorate in veterinary medicine from an accredited college or university plus two years in a university-approved residency in animal behavior.
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist can be viewd as the counter-title to Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Clinical animal behavioral specialists who has a Master’s Degree but not a Ph. D. can also be certified by the ABA, as an Associate Applied Animal Behaviorist.
They often find jobs as research assistants or educators in universities, zoos, museums, and government, and private facilities.