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Certificate Course: 2019 Comparative Psychology and Cognition (CEU=20)

This course starts November 13 and runs till December 17, 2019.
Lectures are released each Wednesday (at noon EST) and you have till the following Tuesday (1:00pm EST) to complete the homework assignment and make at least two post on the discussion board.

To view the full course syllabus 
click here

 Does your dog understand that objects continue to exist even when out of view? In this class, we will cover topics in the field of comparative psychology with an emphasis on current research in dog cognition. Comparative psychologists focus on the evolutionary, developmental, and environmental variables influencing behavior of various species of animals. In this class, we will cover the history of animal behavior and cognition, the role and dangers of anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism, and cover key topics in dog cognition research such as social learning, abstract concepts, communication and language, and theory of mind. Students will be expected to read up to two scientific articles each week as well as additional homework, such as trying out famous experiments on your own (or your friends’) companion animal.

Level of Knowledge: Prior to attending this course, it is assumed that all students:

  • Are familiar with basic concepts of animal learning, including Pavlovian and operant conditioning,
  • Are familiar with basic concepts of evolutionary processes, such as the concept of traits, inheritance, and selection of those traits.
  • This class presumes no previous knowledge of comparative psychology or animal cognition.

Learning Objectives:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the field of comparative psychology
  • Demonstrate the importance of scientific thinking when it comes to animal behavior and cognition
  • Define anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism and explain the importance of not engaging in these errors
  • Engage in active learning and discussions about various topics of animal cognition
Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, MS, PhD, CPDT-KA is an assistant professor in the Animal Welfare at the University of British Columbia. Protopopova’s and her students’ research aims are improving animal shelter practices, improving companion animal welfare through the development of behavioural interventions, and improving human-animal interactions for the benefit of both. Dr. Protopopova earned an MS and a PhD in Behavior Analysis from University of Florida and was previously an assistant professor in animal and food sciences at Texas Tech University. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent presenter in scientific and professional conferences. Dr. Protopopova spends her days conducting behavioral research, teaching university classes in companion animal welfare, and cuddling dogs.

CEUs: 20

*Note auditors do not qualify for CEUs.
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