All students and researchers of behaviour – from those observing freely-behaving animals in the field to those conducting more controlled laboratory studies – face the problem of deciding what exactly to measure. Without a scientific framework on which to base them, however, such decisions are often unsystematic and inconsistent. Providing a clear and defined starting point for any behavioural study, this is the first book to make available a set of principles for how to study the organisation of behaviour and, in turn, for how to use those insights to select what to measure. The authors provide enough theory to allow the reader to understand the derivation of the principles, and draw on numerous examples to demonstrate clearly how the principles can be applied. By providing a systematic framework for selecting what behaviour to measure, Understanding Animal Behaviour lays the foundations for a more scientific approach for the study of behaviour.
Sergio Pellis is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He has been researching animal behaviour and neuroscience since 1976 and has maintained a research laboratory at the University of Lethbridge since 1990. For the past 13 years, he has been a Board of Governors Research Chair, and in 2014 was awarded the Speaker Gold Medal for Research.
Vivien Pellis was an Adjunct Professor and currently remains a Research Associate in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. She has been a university researcher in animal behaviour and neuroscience since 1981, investigating a diversity of behaviours and species.