Studies of animal behaviour and reactions can be applied to human psychology in many ways. They use animals so that they can see a similar result that they would see in a human or where it is not possible to research humans directly. They use certain animals that are closely linked to humans such as apes as they have the least evolution so that there results can be more precise.
There are many moral and ethical reasons that restrict the type of research carried out by them and performed by humans, for instance isolation, rearing and controlling their environments.
The researchers need to be sure they are studying the stimuli they are researching and nothing else therefore it is very important to isolate the subject, this ensures that they can fully control their environment and anything that may affect their research. If they are not in control of the environment many factors can influence there research. If we were to isolate a child however it can be very harmful to the child in regards to their development of social, emotional and even physical skills as they learn by watching others and need others around them in order to build up their social skills.
We can also give animals greater rewards when they are in need of praise and greater punishments when needed because of human rights and we can also use experimental techniques such as rearing. Rearing is useful so the researchers know everything about the animals since birth including any exposure to anything that may affect the research or any inborn behaviours that may need to be taken into account whilst researching.
Another advantage for using animals for research is that animals take less time to reach full adult maturity thus speeding up the research process.
There is however one major disadvantage to studying animals. This is that we can never be certain that the causes of the animals behaviour is applicable to humans or that the effect the stimuli had on the animal will cause the same effect...