Assessment methods of psychological profile in animals

Subject description

The theoretical part of the course is divided into five parts;

– Historical background of animal psychological research (beginnings of animal psychological research, important experiments and researchers, problems in this research field)

– Personality psychology (basic concepts and terminology, methods of personality research and personality traits in different animal species, with emphasis on behavioural personality tests)

– Social psychology (research methods within social psychology in various animal species with emphasis on behavioural tests to measuring concepts such as attachment and pro-social behaviour)

– Cognitive psychology (methods for studying mental processes in various animal species, with emphasis on instruments and behavioural tests for assessing problem-solving skills and evaluating memory)

– Psychophysiology (important cardiovascular and neuroendocrine physiological parameters, methods for measuring physiological changes as a result of psychological events; e.g., thermocamera, heart rate monitor)

The practical part of the course involves the design of an experiment on a topic relevant to the student's individual work. The work includes the design of an experimental plan and the use of the methodological approaches and equipment presented in the theoretical part (e.g., behaviour coding software). The room and equipment will be provided by the lecturer.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The objective of the course is to become familiar with psychological concepts and various methodological approaches to the study of the psychological profile of animals. Emphasis is placed on the use of behavioural testing, combination of methodological approaches, and interdisciplinary research.

Teaching and learning methods

Seminar, consultations, practical work.

Expected study results

Understanding of psychological research on animals in theory and practice and competence to prepare and conduct an interdisciplinary psychological experiment on the selected animal species.

Basic sources and literature

Carere, C., Maestripieri, D. 2013. Animal Personalities: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution. University of Chicago Press: 507 str., ISBN-10: 0226921972 , ISBN-13: 978-0226921976

Rayment, D.J., De Groef, B., Peters, R.A., Marston, L.C. 2015. Applied personality assessment in domestic dogs: Limitations and caveats. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 163: 1–18. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.11.020

Stamps, J., Groothuis, T.G. 2010. The development of animal personality: relevance, concepts and perspectives. Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 85(2): 301–325. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2009.00103.x

Wynne, C.D.L., Udell, M. 2020. Animal Cognition: Evolution, Behavior and Cognition. Bloomsburry Academic: 393 str., ISBN-10: 113761126X, ISBN-13: 978-1137611260

Stay up to date

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

E: T:  01 4768 411