Masterarbeit "Characterising behavioural dynamics during human-animal interactions"


Masterarbeit am AB Entwicklungspsychologie bei Prof. Stefanie Höhl ausgeschrieben

Co-supervisors: Prof. Stefanie Höhl & Suzanne Truong MSc

Human-animal interactions (HAI) have been shown to have significant implications on animal welfare. Research on HAI have predominantly focused on negative interactions, however positive interactions are now of increasing interest due to the growing emphasis on positive welfare. Human-animal studies have typically used paradigms that do not capture the dynamic nature of interactions. In particular, structural and sequential characteristics of HAI could reveal key determinants for an interaction to qualify as positive. In this study, we will investigate the behavioural dynamics of human-pig interactions in terms of reciprocity, synchrony, and control.

We are looking for a master’s student from March 2022 onwards who is interested in analysing the videos of dyadic interactions between human and pig. The proposed work consists of behavioural coding of these interactions using BORIS and statistical analysis using R. The results obtained can be used to produce an MSc thesis.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • How interaction styles influence behavioural transitions and sequences during human-pig interactions?
  • How to determine level of reciprocity in human-pig interactions?

We offer:

  • Gaining experience in behavioural research
  • Close supervision (in English)
  • Learning to use video coding software and conduct behavioural data analysis


  • Study of psychology, cognitive science, or related field of study
  • Independent, committed and responsible worker
  • Fluent English skills
  • Experience with behavioural observations is preferred but not necessary

If you are interested, please contact us at and send your CV, a short motivation letter (in English), Transcript of Records, and if applicable, references.