New Center for the History of Psychology Online Exhibit: The IQ Zoo

The Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) has just released its first online exhibit. Dedicated to the IQ Zoo, the exhibit features rare video and photographs, as well as details of the Zoo’s exhibit plans, animals, and training methods.  As described on the exhibit site,

The IQ Zoo was an animal training facility and tourist attraction in Hot Springs, Arkansas developed by Keller and Marian Breland in 1955. The Brelands, both graduate students of psychologist B. F. Skinner, used principles of behaviorism to train chickens, rabbits, pigs, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, goats, and many other animals to perform simple acts based on the animals’ instinctual behaviors. The acts, which included traveling animal shows, were as diverse as the animals and ranged from “The Kissing Bunny” where a rabbit “kissed” his plastic girlfriend to “Casey at the Bat” where a chicken played a game of baseball on a miniature scale.

The IQ Zoo exhibit features items and information taken from the Animal Behavior Enterprises collection housed at the CHP. The full exhibit can be explored online here.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.