Learning, Behaviour and Welfare Research Unit (LBWRU)

The research activity of the Learning, Behaviour and Welfare Research Unit (LBWRU) is aimed at advancing the understanding of human and animal behaviour. The research includes application of psychological principles to human behaviour problems and the improvement of animal welfare. Animal models of human learning have a long tradition in the behavioural sciences, and many of the advances in behavioural therapies, especially with children with severe developmental disability have their basis in laboratory research that was conducted with non-human animals. Several members of this Unit actively research areas where there is direct cross over between the experimental analysis of behaviour with animals to the applied analysis of behaviour with humans, such as in the areas of reinforcer preference, self-control, and stimulus generalisation.

Current research with animals includes the study of animal learning and abilities (including psychophysics), the measurement of animal needs and preferences and presently involves domestic hens, brush-tailed possum, horses and domestic dogs. Much of the research fits within the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour.

Current research with humans includes studies based in Behaviour Analysis covering both applied behaviour analysis and the experimental analysis of human behaviour. Recent theses include topics such as fluency building and precision teaching, relational responding, classroom interactions, preference measurement, establishing operations, dealing with challenging behaviour, and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Staff undertake research and consultancy in these areas.