- Subject index
Via 100 entries, 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of psychology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume reference resource, available both in print and online, provides an authoritative source to serve students’ research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but without the jargon, detail, or density found in a typical journal article or a research handbook chapter. Students will find chapters contained within these volumes useful as aids toward starting research for papers, presentations, or a senior thesis, assisting in deciding on areas for elective coursework or directions for graduate studies, or orienting themselves toward potential career directions in psychology.
Chapter 30: Animal Learning and Behavior
Animal Learning and Behavior
Why do psychologists train rats or monkeys to press a bar for food, or present a buzzer prior to food presentation for cats or dogs, since these situations bear little resemblance to the real world? (In natural settings, rats and monkeys do not have to bar press for food, and cats and dogs do not usually hear a buzzer before they eat.) The answer to this question lies in the belief that there are some general laws of learning. These laws reveal themselves in the study of any behavior, even behaviors not exhibited in natural settings.
Psychologists investigating operant conditioning use the bar press response because many different species acquire it easily. Actually, the unnaturalness of bar pressing is ...