Vol 8, Issue 2, May 2021

Considering Generalizability: A Lesson from Auditory Enrichment Research on Zoo Animals


Khan, N., & Wascher, C. A. F. (2021). Considering generalizability: A lesson from auditory enrichment research on zoo animals.  Animal Behavior and Cognition, 8(2), 251-262.  https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.


Environmental enrichment, particularly auditory enrichment, has recently gained attention as a potential method for reducing stress, and encouraging a more diverse behavior repertoire in captive animals. However, the effects of auditory enrichment on behavior are inconclusive between different studies, and interpretation of behavior has proven difficult. In this commentary, we discuss different factors, such as small sample sizes and diversity of social groups, which might contribute to contradicting results. We then discuss the value of replication studies in animal behavior research and provide a framework and practical guidelines for developing independent replications prior to publication.


Applied animal behavior, Auditory enrichment, Captive settings, Environmental enrichment, Reproducibility