A History of Dogs as Subjects in North American Experimental Psychological Research

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2011
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The modern resurgence in psychological experiments involving dogs follows a long and rich tradition of using dogs as experimental subjects in psychology. Except for a few exceptions (e.g., Pavlov, and Scott and Fuller), much of this research is often overlooked. We trace the history of dogs as experimental psychological subjects: The work of Darwin and Pavlov sets the stage for our focus on research emanating from North American laboratories. We end our review with the advent of the modern renaissance of dog research. This account tracks the history of psychology as a science, providing insight into psychological processes and theoretical corollaries of these processes generally, and shedding light on the behavior of dogs specifically. A rediscovery of this literature can only aid research being conducted today, including rejuvenating old ques¬tions, suggesting new ones, and highlighting useful methods for current issues. We hope through this endeavor that those working with dogs will see themselves as part of this rich tradition and that a historical perspective will help integrate dog research into a field greater than the sum of its parts.

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