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Engaging Undergraduates in Comparative Psychology: A Case Study

  • Author(s): Highfill, Lauren
  • Yeater, Deirdre
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

With many comparative psychologists teaching at small colleges and universities where resources are limited, maintaining a traditional animal laboratory housing rats or pigeons is not realistic for many of these researchers. One way to overcome this lack of overhead costs and extensive lab space, is to forge collaborations with local zoos and aquariums. Zoo and aquarium research projects provide a way to examine a wide range of species, which is an important tenet within the field of comparative psychology. Furthermore, many undergraduates are innately attracted to the prospect of working with exotic animals. Here, we propose utilizing visitor behavior research as a means to provide undergraduates with research experience within the field comparative psychology, as well as expose the general public to animal behavior research.

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