4.2.2 – Animal Research
Using Animals in Research
- Shorter gestation periods (For example rats have a gestation period of 22 days). This means that developmental studies can be conducted much faster, and also large samples can be created quickly.
- No demand characteristics leads to higher internal validity.
- You can control animals more than humans due to ethics. For example, you could control exactly what a rat ate throughout its whole life, but you can’t do that with a human.
- You can cause pain and distress to the animals as long as it’s part of the research and not unnecesary, something which isn’t allowed with humans. (Eg. Skinner’s Skinner box)
- We can somewhat generalise due to the fact that we share common ancestors.
- Small amounts of suffering in animals can avoid the suffering of many more people/animals.
- Lacks ecological validity.
- Animals are very different to humans, therefore it can be hard to generalise.
- Over 90% of drugs deemed successful on animals go on to fail in human trials.
Scientific Procedures Act includes any scientific procedure which may cause pain, suffering, distress or long lastime harm to a protected animal is affected by this act. It protects these animals from harm.
- Researchers must justify the costs to the animals compared to how useful the study is.
- Animal research must be licensed on an individual project basis.
- All researchers must be trained to gain an individual license to do animal research.
- They should minimise pain and suffering.
- They should recognise and assess any adverse effects on the animals.