Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Roger E. Ulrich

Second Advisor

Dr. Arthur Falk

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling


This study examined the use of nonhuman subjects in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and the level of invasiveness of those studies. The invasiveness level of each study was determined according to the Shapiro and Field (1987) invasiveness rating scale. All studies published from 1958 through 1992 were considered. In addition to rating the individual studies with the invasiveness scale, data were collected concerning the species of the subjects and their number, whether anaesthesia, analgesia, drugs or toxic agents were used, whether surgery took place, levels of deprivation, and if the subjects died.

The findings from this study indicated that: (a) the number of nonhuman studies steadily increased from 29 studies/year in 1958 to a record high of 102 studies/year in 1974 and then decreased to 34 studies/year in 1992; (b) the number of nonhuman subjects used and the number of studies have followed a similar pattern, increases in the early seventies and subsequent decreases; (c) the level of invasiveness across all years was found to be consistent with the mean invasiveness being 3.72; (d) rats and pigeons were the nonhuman subjects most frequently used; and (e) sixty-five percent of the studies conducted employed deprivation levels at or below 80% free-feeding weight.

Areas suggested for further analysis include: (a) improvement in the accuracy and ease of use of the invasiveness scale, (b) examination of the use of restricted feedings and body weight based deprivations, (c) investigation of the invasiveness of body weight based deprivations, and (d) development of a conceptual framework in which the benefits which humans receive, as a result of nonhuman research, can be quantified and contrasted against the pain and suffering of the nonhuman subjects.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access