APA's Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) and the Board of Scientific Affairs are producing the second in a series of educational videos as a resource for high school psychology teachers to use in discussing the importance of lab animal research in psychology.
The 15-minute video, tentatively titled "Psychopharmacology: The Contri-butions and Importance of Nonhuman Animal Research in Psychology," focuses on substance abuse research. It is the second segment in what will be a series of six to eight videos. Each segment will highlight the role of lab animal research in different subdisciplines of psychology. The first video, released in 1998, featured the area of perception and action.
APA developed the videos as a way to show the important role animal research plays in the field. "Behavioral scientists have a harder time communicating the role of lab animal research in psychology to the public," says Sangeeta Panicker, PhD, APA's Research Ethics Officer and staff liaison to CARE. "While biomedical researchers can often directly link their research to a human application--such as, for example, finding the cure for a particular disease--animal research in psychology tends to be basic and geared toward understanding a behavior or cognitive process," says Panicker. CARE wanted to reach the high school age group because of the influence already present from organizations against animal research.
The series is intended to be included in classroom lesson plans. The format of the videos, she says, is one that makes it ideal for use in the classroom to initiate discussion on the relevance and ethics of research with nonhuman animals. A variety of researchers from each area are used in the videos and the animals discussed vary by species--birds, hamsters, monkeys, dolphins and others are included. Though the series is geared toward high school level students, the first video is also being used at the college level in introductory psychology and research methods classes.
A study guide that elaborates on the research depicted in the segment accompanies each video.
Copies of the videos will be sent to all members of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools as each segment becomes available. The first video is available to APA members for $19.95. To order a copy (item number 4050330), contact APA's Order Department at (800) 374-2721 or e-mail.