Animals and psychology

The editor's dog [pictured] brings you our favourite animal and psychology content.

Psychological research into animal behaviour has shown the sometimes surprising abilities of animal minds, and what sets humans apart, if anything… Other research has investigated our relationships with and feelings towards animals, including the use of animals for therapy. Psychologists have also used animal models to understand more about the human brain. Here we collect our articles from the archives on all these topics and then bring you our favourites from elsewhere.

The psychologists’ tree of life
A special feature on psychologists working with non-human species, including octopuses, lions, dolphins, elephants, parrots and more!

The Psychologist Guide to… Pets
Ten evidence-based tips pulled together by our journalist Ella Rhodes. Did you know that dogs can help you read?

Ten of the most famous animals in psychology
Christian Jarret celebrates the contributions of animals to psychology, including Hans the Horse, Betty the crow, and Pavlov’s dogs.

The value of pets for human health
Deborah Wells has a menagerie of surprising and controversial research on animal antics. 

Lazy bees and clean hyenas
Emma Young digests a review that finds that animals vary in trait conscientiousness.

The creatures we find most scary and revolting
Christian Jarret on the least (cats, pandas) and most (spiders, snakes) frightening and disgusting creatures.

Why research using animals is important in psychology
Stacey A. Bedwell argues the case. 

Having kittens
Stacey A. Bedwell on addressing the anxieties of pet ownership.


‘Perhaps the difference between us and other species is that we have taken it to the extremes’
Our editor Jon Sutton chats to Josep Call, Professor in Evolutionary Origins of Mind at the University of St Andrews.

The lifespan of a dog owner
An exclusive extract from 'The Psychology of Dog Ownership', by Theresa Barlow and Craig Roberts.

How sentient is this mouse?
Helen Cassaday poses an ethical dilemma. With her own view and responses.

Are we more like animals than we know?
Our editor Jon Sutton attends the recording of ‘The Evidence’, a BBC World Service programme.

Animal ‘culture wars’
Rachel L. Kendal asks what constitutes culture, do animals have it, and what does it mean for psychologists?

'Majestic animals become props in a story'
Geoffrey Beattie on trophy hunting

The kingdom of dogs
Matthew Adams revisits Pavlov's labs from the dog's perspective.

Veterans, horses and the rediscovery of ‘with’
Adrian Needs considers the processes at play in equine-assisted learning with members of the armed forces.

From elsewhere… 

Many animals can become mentally ill
Shreya Dasgupta for the BBC on how other species could be suffering from anxiety and depression.

Most people avoid ugly animals. I'm obsessed with them
Sami Bayly for The Guardian on finding joy in weird creatures.

How to talk to your dog – according to science
Juliane Kaminski for The Conversation.

Animal personality
A programme on BBC Radio 4 from Adam Hart on research into temperament in different animals.

Hen-keeping – a cracking new therapy for older people
Sue George for The Guardian on how keeping hens is reducing depression, loneliness and the need for antipsychotic medication for those in sheltered housing and care homes. 

Animal experiments and rights
Melvyn Bragg for ‘In our Time’ on BBC Radio 4 on the morality of research into animal consciousness.

Why some animals are more equal than others...
Rob Sharp for the Independent on why different animals are seen in different ways. 

Why cute photos of animals make us happier
Simon Moore for the Independent on how sharing such photos on social media can enhance our social standing, inflate our egos and make us happy.

The science behind why some people love animals and others couldn't care less
John Bradshaw for The Conversation. 

Cats bond with their people too, study finds
Nicola Davis for The Guardian on attachment styles in cats.

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