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Psychology 252: Application of Behavior Analysis in Animal Training

  • 3 hours, 3 credits
  • Prerequisites: None

This course is designed for students to experience Behavior Analysis principles in action. All animal species share adherence to the lawful principles discussed in behavior analytic courses. Stimulation, reinforcement, extinction, punishment, and generalization take on new meaning when these principles are put into practice and used to shape the behavior of a simple, but dynamic species. The chicken's evolutionary survival has been due in part to their ability to rapidly adapt their behavior to the environment. The training lab gives students the opportunity to observe firsthand the effects of a changing environment on chicken behavior, while class lectures explore the principles of learning responsible for these changes. Students learn that their behavior is a critical factor in changing the behavior of the chicken, and this lesson is translated to the real world of applying behavior analysis whether in a classroom, as a clinician, a parent, or any other teacher/learner relationship. In addition, the training process involves developing the student’s powers of observation and patience, as well as building a foundation for the appreciation of humane animal care and handling.

NOTE: Handling a live chicken is a requirement of this course.

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