F6 Psychology students visited Chester Zoo on 31st March to attend two workshops; Animal Behaviour and Primate Behaviour.
In the first workshop, students explored how animals learn which enabled them to consolidate their knowledge of Classical and Operant Conditioning and understand how Zookeepers use these methods with elephants and tigers during feeding time and when they need to administer health care. Students also had the opportunity to handle snakeskin and other rare items to support their understanding of phobias and how to treat them. Students had a debate on the ethical use of animals in testing which included how to protect them.
The second workshop gave students an opportunity to understand social learning theory, which took them into several enclosures where they observed and analysed chimpanzees, orangutans and lemurs. Students assessed whether they were solitary or social animals, and how these animals compare to humans in terms of their natural behaviour, mating behaviour and attachment to their offspring.
Despite the unexpected snowy start to the day, students said it was an enjoyable day.
"I enjoyed seeing the elephants and touching the elephant tusk in the workshops - I didn't realise how heavy they were!"
"I liked that we had time to look around the zoo. The workshops were engaging and good for revision".