After learning that the University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is subjecting rats to an archaic psychology class experiment in which they are starved in order to coerce them into learning how to use a lever, PETA is asking the school’s institutional animal care and use committee to reconsider its approval of the cruel experiments.
According to course documents obtained by PETA, rats are deprived of food and forced into tiny plastic boxes, where they are “trained” to press a lever in order to obtain a bite of food—even though the very same class taught at a sister campus, UHCL–Pearland, is conducted without tormenting rats. Instead, it uses clicker-training sessions with adoptable animals at a local shelter and interactive computer simulations.
Studies show that most psychology majors oppose mandatory animal laboratories. Numerous comparative studies have found that students taught with modern non-animal methods learn as well as or better than their peers who are forced to use animals.