The Freedom of Choice

Sep 3, 2018

By Lara Joseph

© Lara Joseph

Abnormal repetitive behaviors (ARBs) are behaviors you do not generally see in animals living in the wild. A few examples of such ARBs are pacing, rocking, repetitive swimming patterns, nail biting, flipping, head swinging and rhythmic screaming. Over the years, I have done a lot of digging through research papers published by Elsevier, the academic publishing company for medical and scientific literature. Through this digging and experimentation, I have found that one common denominator for these behaviors is an unenriched environment that constricts the animal’s choice and limits his control. Other factors could be isolation, flooding (the inability to escape feared objects or environments), consistent stress, discomfort, the inability to replace natural behaviors, as well as restriction of choice. Read more.