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Integrated Clinical Animal Behavior

Integrated Clinical Animal Behavior

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In this paper, I outline the drawbacks with the two main behavioral approaches to animal behavior problems and argue that each alone is insufficient to underpin a field of clinical animal behavior. Applied ethology offers an interest in an animal’s

In this paper, I outline the drawbacks with the two main behavioral approaches to animal behavior problems and argue that each alone is insufficient to underpin a field of clinical animal behavior. Applied ethology offers an interest in an animal’s spontaneous behavior in natural contexts, understood within an ecological and evolutionary context, but lacks an awareness of mechanisms that can be manipulated to modify the behavior of individual animals. Behaviorism in the form of Applied Behavior Analysis offers a toolkit of techniques for modifying the behavior of individual animals, but has seldom been applied to non-human species, and often overlooks phylogenetic aspects of behavior. Notwithstanding the historical animosities between the two fields of animal behavior they are philosophically highly compatible – both being empiricist schools stemming ultimately from Darwin’s insights. Though each individually is incomplete, I argue that an integrated approach that synthesizes the strengths of each holds great promise in helping the many animals who need our assistance to survive and thrive in human-dominated environments.

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2021-02-05

Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

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Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s

Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s budget. We examined the impact of SPB on political efficacy in one middle school in Arizona. Our participants’ (n = 28) responses on survey items designed to measure self-perceived growth in political efficacy indicated a large effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.46), suggesting that SPB is an effective approach to civic pedagogy, with promising prospects for developing students’ political efficacy.

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2021-05-01

Education and Outreach: March Mammal Madness and the power of narrative in science outreach

March Mammal Madness and the power of narrative in science outreach

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March Mammal Madness is a science outreach project that, over the course of several weeks in March, reaches hundreds of thousands of people in the United States every year. We combine four approaches to science outreach – gamification, social media

March Mammal Madness is a science outreach project that, over the course of several weeks in March, reaches hundreds of thousands of people in the United States every year. We combine four approaches to science outreach – gamification, social media platforms, community event(s), and creative products – to run a simulated tournament in which 64 animals compete to become the tournament champion. While the encounters between the animals are hypothetical, the outcomes rely on empirical evidence from the scientific literature. Players select their favored combatants beforehand, and during the tournament scientists translate the academic literature into gripping “play-by-play” narration on social media. To date ~1100 scholarly works, covering almost 400 taxa, have been transformed into science stories. March Mammal Madness is most typically used by high-school educators teaching life sciences, and we estimate that our materials reached ~1% of high-school students in the United States in 2019. Here we document the intentional design, public engagement, and magnitude of reach of the project. We further explain how human psychological and cognitive adaptations for shared experiences, social learning, narrative, and imagery contribute to the widespread use of March Mammal Madness.

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2021-02-22