The laws of animal behavior have been revised and revealed through research performed by zoologists, physiologists and experimental psychologists. Each has contributed much. Their main meeting ground has been the study of mammals, especially rats. This classic book is unique in bringing together the principal conclusions of these researchers in a compact, well illustrated, and lucid form.
The author himself made important original contributions to wild rat behavior; his account of "white rat psychology" and of relevant work on other species is equally authoritative. Experience as a teacher enabled him to write an unusually logical and comprehensive text, suitable for students of zoology, psychology and medicine.
This book belongs to no particular school of biology or psychology. Rather it admits the work of all schools and strict adherence to none. The principal topics covered include: movement in the living space; feeding behavior; social and reproductive behavior; the analysis of "instinct"; the analysis of learned behavior; "motivation" and "drive"; the brain and behavior. The book includes a full, carefully selected bibliography, current up to the time of original publication of the original edition.
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S. A. Barnett (1915-2003) was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford where he became Christopher Welch Scholar after taking a First in Zoology. He was a senior lecturer, and eventually was appointed chair at the Glasgow University Zoology Department in 1971. He has studied behavior, hybrid vigor and effects of breeding at a low temperature in rats and mice and wrote over 150 papers and nine books.Review:
“The zoology student will learn from this book that there is more to the study of mammalian behaviour than is suggested by many an old fashioned and superficial account of the work of Pavlov, Thornike and Tinbergen. The psychology student whose grounding in biological sciences is weak, will learn that rat behaviour is primarily concerned with adaptation to a work in which Skinner boxes are few and far between.”
—J. H. Greaves, Journal of Applied Ecology
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