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Why are animals used in psychological research ?

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Quick Answer

According to the American Psychological Association, animal experimentation provides a highly controlled living population on which to test theories about group and individual psychology, behavioral conditioning and pharmaceuticals. Scientific testing requires repeated testing and observation and animal research is considered the most effective and efficient means of obtaining data.

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Full Answer

While animal experimentation is a controversial practice that has drawn serious criticism from groups like PETA, the general consensus among research psychologists and neuroscientists is that it is necessary to further the understanding of the human brain. The American Psychological Association justifies the use of animals in psychological research to aid in the overall picture of human progress. From Alzheimer's research to studying effective treatment options for various psychiatric illnesses, there are a variety of ways in which animal testing provides answers that significantly benefit humanity and save human and animal lives.

The BBC further clarifies that most animal researchers follow basic guidelines to determine whether animal research is truly justifiable. The research must minimize the suffering of the animals being experimented on, and the potential gains from the research must lead to a significant benefit for humanity. In addition to these general guidelines, all psychological research organizations follow the guidelines of an internal review board that dictates the measures researchers must take to ensure all research animals are treated as humanely as possible.

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