The University of Southampton
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PSYC3045 Perspectives in Human Animal Interactions

Module Overview

The module will draw on the student’s prior learning with regard to various psychological areas; including but not restricted to, learning theory, attitude, attachment and behaviour change theories. An introduction to animal behaviour and welfare will be provided using example groups of species. Through consideration of current topical issues of human-animal interactions, the complexities of understanding and negotiating between the desires and needs of the humans and non-humans are investigated, and the potential for unintended direct and indirect consequences explored. The field of human-animal interactions and the role of psychology within it is growing rapidly. It has importance at local, global, political and personal levels in a range of areas of welfare concern including; wildlife conservation, wildlife (pest) control, stray animals, animals kept in laboratories, farms, or as pets, 'dangerous' dogs and animals used for human therapy or entertainment.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce students to the diverse applications of Psychology in this multidisciplinary topic of human-animal interactions

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically apply relevant and appropriate information
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply an understanding of animal and human behaviour to the management of animals
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution of psychology to the field of animal behaviour and the relationships humans have with animals
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of an aspect of the human-animal relationship
  • Assess emotive issues objectively
  • Communicate effectively in writing
  • Develop the ability to provide a rational argument logically, coherently and concisely
  • Develop independent learning through directed study, and resource accessing skills

Syllabus

The module will consider historical, functional, cultural and individual perspectives of human animal interactions. The economics and values of animal roles at individual and societal level will be considered and how these relate to human and animal welfare, legislation, and the future will be addressed. An introduction to animal behaviour, welfare assessment and how these relate to human management of animals will be provided.

Special Features

This module is not based on specific textbooks or a single area of psychology. Rather, it involves a degree of self-directed learning and thus exploration of the literature, though some suggested initial reading is provided for each topic. Lectures, challenging in class-discussions and assignments will stimulate self-discovery, critical thinking and provide the opportunity to apply psychological knowledge to a range of real world situations that are multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary in nature. Such areas of application may involve consideration of non-controversial and controversial, and often emotive, implications of human behaviour on animal welfare and vice versa.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is by lecture and in class discussion. Hand-outs are provided prior to lectures, questions and discussion are encouraged during lectures. Blackboard based discussion forums are set up for both the lectures and for each assignment. Further information and sources of information are also provided on blackboard, which may or may not be directly related to assignments.

TypeHours
Teaching22
Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Eadie, E.N. (2012). Understanding Animal Welfare: an integrated approach Animal Welfare. 

Podberscek, A.L. Paul, E.S and Serpell, J.A. (2000). Companion animals and us: exploring therelationships between people and pets. 

Serpell, J (2016). The Domestic Dog. 

Broom, D. and Fraser, A F. (2015). Domestic Animal Behaviour and Welfare. 

Herzog, H. (2010). Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it’s so hard to think straightabout animals. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Academic poster  () 39%
Critical essay  (2000 words) 60%
Research Participation 1%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical essay  (2000 words) 100%
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