Comparative Psychology

Comparative psychology is a subfield of experimental psychology, which focuses on studying the biological basis of behavior as it pertains to nonhuman animals. The behavior of different species is studied as well.

See also Animal experimentation ; Environment ; Ethology ; Experimental psychology .



Bernstein, Douglas A. Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2012.

Dugatkin, Lee Alan. Principles of Animal Behavior, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2009.

Hayes, Nicky. Principles of Comparative Psychology. Hove, UK: Psychology Press, 1999.

Vonk, Jennifer, and Todd K. Shackelford. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Watson, John B. Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology. LaVergne, TN: Watson Press, 2009.


Burghardt, Gordon M. “Darwin's Legacy to Comparative Psychology and Ethology.” American Psychologist 64, no. 2 (February/March 2009): 102–10.

MacLean, Evan L., et al. “Dogs (Canis familiaris) Account for Body Orientation but Not Visual Barriers When Responding to Pointing Gestures.” Journal of Comparative Psychology 128, no. 3 (August 2014): 285–97.

Shofner, William P., and Megan Chaney. “Processing Pitch in a Nonhuman Animal (Chinchilla laniger).” Journal of Comparative Psychology 127, no. 2 (May 2013): 142–53.


American Psychological Association. “Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.” (accessed September 16, 2015).