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Allen Szalda-Petree, Professor, Animal Learning/Comparative

Location: Skaggs Bldg 201

Phone: (406) 243-2091


My research interests involve the examination of animal behavior using an integration of psychological, ecological, & evolutionary bases. In general I am interested in variables, with a specific interest in effort, that influence choice behavior. While much is known about behaviors requiring minimal effort (such as barpressing and keypecking), little is certain regarding behaviors with higher effort requirements. Moreover, varying the effortfulness of responding is a direct manipulation of caloric expenditure of the response and allows for a conceptual bridge between ecological theories of foraging and traditional laboratory based theories.


Ph.D., The University of Montana-Missoula, 1990
M.S., Central Washington University, 1987
B.S., Central Washington University, 1984

Selected Publications

Craft, B.B., Szalda-Petree, A.D., Brinegar, J.L., & Haddad, N.F. (2007). Effect of various discrimination stimuli on choice behavior in male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Perceptual and Motor Skills, 104, 575-580.

Deditius-Island, H.K. & Szalda-Petree, A.D. (in press). Sex differences in risk-sensitivity under positive and negative budgets and predictors of choice. Journal of General Psychology.

Szalda-Petree, A.D., Craft, B.B., Martin, L.M., Deditius-Island, H.K. (2004). Self-control in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Controlling for differential stimulus exposure. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 98, 141-146.

Craft, B.B., Velkey, A.J., & Szalda-Petree, A.D. (2003). Instrumental conditioning of choice behavior in male siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Behavioural Processes, 63, 171-175.

Kirshenbaum, A.P., Szalda-Petree, A.D., & Haddad, N.F. (2003). Increased effort requirements and risk sensitivity: A comparison of delay and magnitude manipulations. Behavioural Processes, 61, 109-121.

Kirshenbaum, A., Szalda-Petree, A., Haddad, N. (2000). Risk-sensitive foraging in rats: The effects of response-effort and reward-amount manipulations on choice behavior. Behavioural Processes, 50, 9-17.


Field of Study

Animal Learning & Behavior, Comparative Psychology, Computerized Research Methodologies


  • Psych 352 - Comparative Psychology
  • Psych 523 - Research Design
  • Psych 560 - Advanced Learning


Deditius-Island, H.K., Szalda-Petree, A.D., & Zava, D. (June, 2006). Testosterone and sexual jealousy. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Philadelphia, PA.

Craft, B.B., Collins, C.M., Brinnegar, J.L., & Szalda-Petree, A.D. (April, 2006). Self-control in the aggressive display of male Betta splendens. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, Park City, UT.

Kucera, S. & Szalda-Petree, A.D. (April, 2006). Risk-sensitive decision-making strategies in humans budgeting time. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, Park City, UT.

Szalda-Petree, A.D., Deditius-Island, H.K., Klocek, J., & S Zava, D. (April, 2005). Personality characteristics and progesterone levels. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR.