Ethical Issues Using Animals in Psychology


            The main advantage of using animals in psychology is that findings can help us gain a better understanding of human and animal behaviours, animals also present less ethical issues than humans.

            The BPS guidelines state that the scientific contribution of the work must justify the use of living animals. This is supported by legislation such as the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986) which aims to spare the unnecessary pain and distress of animals while accepting that some research involves animal suffering. When placing application for licenses, alternatives must be considered and a cost benefit analysis must be carried out before granting the license. This refers to the level of animal pain, distress or death compared to knowledge and medical therapy for humans. However, the benefits cannot be known until the research has been carried out.

            Brady’s 1958 study with ‘executive monkeys’ resulted in the death of the monkeys due to ulcers. With the suffering and


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