The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Rat Lab for Fun and Profit

  • Hilary J. Karp


Many applied behavior analysts have little or no personal exposure to the basic animal experimentation that provided the foundation for applied behavior analysis. However, personal experience in the animal laboratory provides many benefits to students of applied behavior analysis. Animal laboratory experience provides convincing, vivid illustrations of basic principles of learning and facilitates generalization and application of the basic principles. The laboratory experience also teaches interpersonal skills that may be important in future employment in applied fields. The animal laboratory can also provide public relations opportunities, especially with university-sponsored events such as the Rat Olympics. These points, as well as concerns about the resources needed for an animal laboratory and compliance with federal animal-use guidelines, are addressed. It is concluded that the animal laboratory offers many educational profits to students while making learning fun for a reasonable outlay of effort and resources.

Key words

teaching instruction rats laboratory applied research 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilary J. Karp
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Houston-Clear LakeHoustonUSA

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