Author: Szymon Bręński
Year of publication: 2017
Source: Show
Pages: 199-216
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2017.01.12
PDF: kie/115/kie11512.pdf

The description and explanation of human behavior in behavioral psychology is conducted according to nonhuman animal model. This field of science is based on primary learning processes such as classical and operant conditioning, which were discovered due to research on animals. Therefore, many U.S. colleges and universities use animal laboratory experiments in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses of psychology. Decreasing public support for research on live animals, more strict regulations in animal laws and high laboratory maintaining costs caused that alternative ways to demonstrate students the rights of learning and shaping behavior were looked for. Due to the expand of personal computers, programs and virtual models simulating live animals behavior were developed. The most popular one and currently most accessible is „Sniffy, the virtual rat”. The paper discusses the possibility of using the program in teaching. Moreover, the results of two surveys on using live versus virtual animals in didactics of behavioral psychology, carried out among students, are presented and discussed.

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