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Dale, Robert

Professor - Psychology


Jordan Hall - 298
MWRF 10-11AM; by appt.

Academic/Professional/Personal Focus

Areas of Expertise
Animal behavior; learning; history of psychology

Contributions: (published works or studies, conference presentations)

Dale, R. H. I. (2010). Birth statistics for African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in human care: History and implications for elephant welfare. Zoo Biology, 29, 87-103.

Kowalski, N.L., Dale, R.H.I., & Mazur, L.H. (2010). A survey of the management and development of captive African elephant (Loxodonta africana) calves: birth to three months of age. Zoo Biology, 29, 104-119.

Shyan-Norwalt, M. R, Peterson, J., King, B.M., Staggs, T. E., & Dale, R. H. I. (2010). Initial findings on visual acuity thresholds in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Zoo Biology, 29, 30-35.
Dale, R. H. I. (2008). The spatial memory of African elephants (Loxodonta africana): Durability, interference, and response biases. In N.K. Innis (Ed.), Reflections on adaptive behavior: Essays in honor of J. E. R. Staddon. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. pp. 143-169.
Dale, R. H. I., & Yaniga, F. (2008). Dr. Maximilian Schmidt reviewed data on the growth rates of Asian elephants more than 120 years ago. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, 19(3), 14-21. [Translation of an 1884 article from German to English]

Hutchinson, J. R., Schwerda, D., Famini, D. J., Dale, R.H.I., Fischer, M. S., & Kram, R. (2006). The locomotor kinematics of Asian and African elephants: changes with speed and size. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 209, 3812-3827.

Butler Assignment (classes or work duties)

Professor of psychology

Psychology courses: Introduction to psychology, learning, history of psychology, evolutionary psychology (seminar), biological bases of behavior, experimental psychology.

Other courses: Humanities Seminar (Citizenship), Change & Tradition (China & Islam), First Year Seminar (Benevolent Dictator)


Personal Hobbies
Soccer, golf, yoga, music


Ph.D., 1979, Experimental Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Professional Credentials

Research Associate, The Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.

Scientific Advisor, The International Elephant Foundation.

2010-2012: Member, Board of Directors - The National Elephant Center.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Post-doctoral Fellowship(Canada). Position held 1979-1981 at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; Rhodes Scholarship, 1971 (Bermuda)

Association Memberships (professional/educational)
Association for Psychological Science; Animal Behavior Society; Elephant Managers Association

Professional Experience

1996-2002, 2006-07, 2010-12: Chair, Psychology Department, Butler University;

1999-present: professor, Psychology Department, Butler University;

1989-1999, Associate Professor, Psychology Department, Butler University;

1987-1989, Associate Professor, The University of Southeastern Louisiana, LA, USA;

1982-1987 Assistant Professor, The University of Southeastern Louisiana, LA, USA;

1981-1982, Visiting Assistant Professor, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.