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APSC 5184: Research Methods for Animal Behaviorists

Concentration: Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Credits: 3 graduate credits


Research methods and data analysis.  Designs relevant to applied animal behavior.  Considerations for choosing a research design, hypothesis testing, choosing and defining variables, and collection methods. Single-subject research designs, including reversal, multiple baseline, multielement, and parametric. Data-based research decisions.  Group designs, including factorial, nested, and parametric.  Visual representation and analysis of data. Descriptive statistics and introduction to basic parametric and nonparametric statistical tests.

Learning Objectives

  1. Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:
  2. Compare and contrast inductive and deductive reasoning using examples from animal behavior;
  3. Identify appropriate independent and dependent variables and measures of those variables for use in animal behavior research;
  4. Construct objective behavioral definitions focused on animal behavior;
  5. Execute appropriate data collection techniques for animal behavior research;
  6. Compare and contrast different single-subject designs for use in animal behavior research and choose appropriate design for a given research question; 
  7. Compare and contrast different group-designs for use in animal behavior research and choose appropriate design for a given research question; 
  8. Compare and contrast the pros and cons of different research designs for use in animal behavior research
  9. Represent data in a visually effective manner;
  10. Analyze single-subject design data using visual analysis;
  11. Calculate descriptive statistics from various measures of animal behavior;
  12. Discriminate when and how to use basic parametric and nonparametric statistics using animal behavior example

Prequisites and Corequisites

Graduate Standing


Erica Feuerbacher