Animal behaviorists also study animal behavior to enhance our knowledge of human physiology and psychology. Animal research enhances our understanding of human disease and aging. It has also contributed a great deal to what science knows about human learning and intelligence, stress, and about what motivates behavior such as aggression and reproduction.
Modern studies of animals come from three scientific traditions:
•Behaviorists who observe animals in their natural environment are often called ethologists.
•Behaviorists who observe and treat animal (especially pets) behavior problems in their home environment are often called applied animal behaviorists.
•Some behaviorists study animals in a laboratory setting. Their work usually involves conducting experiments to test hypotheses.
•Other scientists analyze the neurological and physiological foundations of animal behavior. Many branches of animal behavior overlap with disciplines such as neurobiology, endocrinology, and others. Some animal behaviorists are called biopsychologists or psychobiologists.
Animal behaviorists study all kinds of animals, ranging from ants to elephants. Undergraduate courses in animal behavior (also called ethology) and in animal learning are available at most major colleges and universities and graduate programs exist in many of these. Where courses in animal behavior are taught varies among institutions, but they can usually be found in psychology, biology or zoology departments.