Please send me a message if you have anything to add to the lists.
I would particularly be interested if you have articles on social learning in animals because I didn’t specifically include that in my searches.
For those who don’t know, my primary interest is applied animal behavior. I’ve posted many things in the animal behavior and horse training tags on this blog.
There are a lot of circular arguments that have been going on for years about animal behavior, training, and learning, and what science really says about those things. People make entire blogs about how the theories and research are wrong without actually understanding or reading them. I’m tired of the ignorance in these arguments. So I decided to create a masterpost of links to academic research and discussions on these subjects.
I searched on academic databases using different aspects of training and learning theory as search terms and included whatever I found that looked relevant. I also used the references of a few articles to find more. I then googled the article to see if full text were available for free. I also included a link to Classics in the History of Psychology which includes a lot of older documents (360 BC - 1964). I included 2 historical studies in the “Other” section that look at the history of operant conditioning in animal training.
Since much of these concepts are universal, I’ve included a variety of species in my searches. I specifically searched for horses, dogs, primates, birds, and (to a limited extent) humans simply because otherwise I would be searching forever.
Many of my followers are vet-track students, so you should already know there is a lot of physical overlap between species and we routinely use animals as models to test psychiatric drugs or study the physiology of the brain. Psychological overlap should therefore not be surprising.
There is little doubt at this point that operant conditioning works both to describe learning behavior and in the application of behavioral modification. Behavioral learning theory has been established and accepted, so more recent research has moved on to the practical applications of that theory. (Do not tell me that it has no real world applications. I specifically filled these lists with resources that relate to real world applications.) Most studies and discussions nowadays look at which quadrants, rewards, aversives, and deliveries of rewards/aversives are most effective, cause the least amount of undesirable side effects, and are safest.
I should also note that positive reinforcement-based training is used almost exclusively in training zoo animals, so articles related to zoo animals have overwhelmingly to do with that quadrant of operant conditioning.
Organized by date, where available, oldest to newest.
Full texts of studies are behind a paywall unless bolded.
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - EQUINES
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - PRIMATES
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - DOGS
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - BIRDS
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - HUMANS
ACADEMIC ARTICLES - OTHER
LECTURES, DEMONSTRATIONS, & DOCUMENTARIES