Animal Cognition: Proceedings of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference, June 2-4, 1982

By H. L. Roitblat; T. G. Bever et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

reinforcement ( Shimp, 1982a). The procedure of the present experiment is much simpler than the symbolic matching-to-sample procedure and seems as convenient and easy to arrange as the autoshaping procedure. Thus, we now have three ways by means of which we can ask a nonverbal organism to provide self reports of its own temporally patterned behavior.

An important next stop would seem to be to ask what kind of integrative theory can assimilate the present dissociation. That is, why, as preference becomes more extreme, does the animal appear to know less and less about what it is doing. This result seems counter-intuitive. It would seem natural for an animal, as two response alternatives become more difficult for it to discriminate, to care less about the difference between them: for example, Baum ( 1974) has suggested that undermatching in concurrent performance is attributable to a failure to discriminate perfectly between response alternatives. Here, however, the opposite result was obtained: as the subject knew less and less about the two response alternatives, it cared more and more about the difference between them.

The present dissociation, and related dissociations between behavior and metabehavior in pigeons ( Shimp, 1983) may be related to various other dissociations, such as those obtained with split brain preparations and amnesiacs. Similarly it might be related to dissociations between perceptual-motor skills in general and verbal self reports of those skills ( Nisbett & Wilson, 1977; Jacoby & Dallas, 1981) and perhaps also to dissociations between various levels of intentionality as described by Dennett ( Dennett, 1983).


V. SUMMARY

An experiment was conducted on the local organization of behavior in rats in order to examine the generality of previous work on pigeons' key pecking, Lever pressing by two rats was reinforced according to a concurrent schedule of reinforcement for shorter and longer classes of interresponse times. Shorter and longer reinforced classes were terminated by presses on left and right lovers, respectively, and were cued by illumination changes within the chamber: the two reinforced behavioral patterns differed not only in temporal duration but also in the spatial location of their terminal lever presses. The interresponse-time distributions showed reasonably good control by the durations of the reinforced classes. As in previous experiments with pigeons, preference between patterns depended not only on relative but also on absolute durations of the patterns: preference for the shorter pattern increased as the absolute durations of both were increased, even though the longer was always three times as long as the shorter. This result has proven to be theoretically diagnostic and apparently has considerable empirical generality. Finally, the procedure permitted a kind of self-description by a rat of its own performance: the temporal patterning of behavior may be viewed as a skill, and the relative frequency with which a given temporal pattern is terminated by a response to the correct lever may be viewed as the

-226-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Animal Cognition: Proceedings of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference, June 2-4, 1982
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 684

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?