Animal Studies

By Ridge and Will


  • In order to experiment with animals, a researcher must hold a licence from the Home Office.
  • Alternatives should always be looked for, to see where other experimental objects can be used instead of animals.
  • Principles include: only trained anaesthetists administering anaesthetics (substance that induces insensitivity to pain); studies being supervised by senior staff; caging and social environments suiting the species; suffering kept to a minimum; and having time between experiments to allow the animals to recover.

Decision Cube

A decision cube can be used when considering whether or not an

experiment is worth carrying out: i.e. whether the outcome benefit

of the experiment justifies the cost of using animals within the

particular experiment.

Bateson (1988) suggested using a decision

cube when carrying out a cost-benefit analysis.

Ethical Evaluation

+ Procedures can be carried out on animals that could not be carried out on humans, for example: lesions and ablations, to reveal the function of different parts of the brain or the removal of monkeys from their mothers (Harlow).

+Drugs have been developed that would not have without the use of animal studies.

+ Ryder (1973) suggested humans should do everything to improve their own qualities of lives, this is called pro-speciesism), therefore animal studies are good.

- Animals are likely to be stressed by experiments as they:

  • are confined more than usual.
  • are likely to be in an unfamiliar environments specifically bred for experimental use.
  • Not treated well and face a high death risk.

- Singer (1976) suggested though that humans are also animals, so speciesism is like racism.

Reliability and Validity Evaluation.

+ Some such as rats have brain structures similar to humans which increases validity.

+ It is useful to be able to study more than one generation in a short time, which is possible in animals with short gestation periods, but not in humans.

+ Many can be acquired at once so performing the same experiment on them increases reliability and concurrent validity.

- Brain differences in structure and function

- Different genetic structure

- Human lives are complex and rarely occur in isolation

- Diseases being studied have to be artificially replicated in animals which mean they might be different than the actual disease which decreases validity.

Ridge and Will

'Fried Rice' - Fried Rice Guy

'Inspirational' - Big Kev