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What is Comparative Psychology?

Comparative psychology is a branch of psychology which examines the similarities and differences between various species – both human and non-human – to gain a better understanding of evolutionary relationships. Studying animals and their behavior not only helps us understand more about the species itself, but can lead to a deeper understanding of human psychology.

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What do comparative psychologists do?

  • Field research studying wild animals
  • Research with animals at zoos/aquariums
  • Research with lab animals
  • Animal training
  • Animal conservation
  • Educate the public
  • And much more!

About the ECCPL

Founded in 2010, the Eckerd College Comparative Psychology Laboratory (ECCPL) is part of Animal Studies Research Collaborative. The ECCPL is directed by Professor Lauren Highfill. Active members of the lab include a highly dedicated group of Eckerd College students interested in studying animal behavior and cognition.

The mission of the lab is to conduct non-invasive research on the behavior and abilities of various species – from dogs to dolphins - in order to increase our understanding of these remarkable animals.

We hope you find this website helpful whether you are interested in joining the lab, applying to Eckerd, or simply learning more about comparative psychology!