Comparative psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the similarities and differences between animal and human behavior. It focuses on animal psychology in general, as well as the implications of science on our understanding of human psychology. A comparative psychologist’s job can vary greatly depending on his or her specialty, but many comparative psychologists work in research or teaching. Working with animals at a zoo or as a consultant on a television show about animals are two unusual jobs that require a degree in comparative psychology.
When considering what a comparative psychologist does, the first thing to consider is his or her level of education. A person with a bachelor’s degree in comparative psychology, for example, could work as a lab assistant or do lower-level work informed their degree. A person can only teach at a university if they have a master’s degree, and most positions in comparative psychology require a doctorate.
A comparative psychologist’s main responsibilities are research and teaching in the field of comparative psychology. This could include things like writing articles and applying for grants, as well as all the other aspects of research. A comparative psychologist’s research may include travel, but many of them work solely in laboratories with captive animals. When comparative psychologists conduct field research, observation can take a long time and may necessitate a break from teaching.
Comparative psychology teaching is usually done at the college level, and it can take up the majority of a psychologist’s time. Depending on the university, a professional in this field may have different job responsibilities. Many university-based comparative psychologists conduct research with the help of university grants and student assistants. A comparative psychologist may teach general psychology courses at a university in some cases, particularly lecture courses taught the entire psychology department.
A comparative psychologist may also give lectures or do other unique work in addition to teaching and research. If the researcher publishes a book, for example, he or she may be required to promote it. In some cases, a comparative psychologist will collaborate with an animal shelter or a company that works with animals to help them live longer and happier lives. The comparative psychologist’s job duties may vary depending on who employs him or her.