Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays

By Robert Epstein | Go to book overview

10
THE SPONTANEOUS INTERCONNECTION OF THREE REPERTOIRES

Summary. A previous study ( Epstein, Kirshnit, Lanza, & Rubin, 1984) showed that pigeons that had acquired two relevant behaviors (pushing a box toward targets, and climbing onto a box and then pecking a small facsimile of a banana) could solve the classic box-and-banana problem. A human-like solution emerged as a result of the manner in which the two repertoires became interconnected moment-to-moment in time ( Epstein et al., 1984; Epstein & Medalie, 1983). In the current experiment, a pigeon acquired three separate behaviors: (1) climbing, (2) pushing toward targets, and (3) pecking the banana. When the pigeon was confronted with the problem, a swift but erratic and not especially "insightful" solution emerged. Some simple principles shed light on the differences between the performances generated by the interconnection of two repertoires and the interconnection of three repertoires in this situation.

The emergence of novel behavior has long been a subject of speculation and debate, but, for the most part, it has defied rigorous scientific analysis. Several sources of novel behavior are amenable to such analysis (see Chapter 3). One, the spontaneous interconnection of repertoires, is probably responsible for the rather dramatic instances of novel behavior which lead people to speak of insight, creativity, reasoning, and so on. People are often unaware of the precise sequence of events which culminates in a "new idea," but when such sequences are observed, interconnection seems to be at work and the process seems to be orderly.

Psychologists have long recognized interconnection as a possible source of novelty, but accounts have been speculative. For example, Maier ( 1929, 1932) arranged situations in which separately established behaviors in rats combined to produce simple novel performances. In one situation, a rat was trained to climb a pathway to reach food and, in the absence of the pathway, given the opportunity to explore the floor area in a room. When the pathway was placed in the room, the rat approached it readily and climbed. Rats were able to do this in the dark, and rats that had not been given the opportunity to explore failed the task. Simple accounts of these results were offered by Dashiell ( 1930), but Maier (e.g., 193 1b) insisted that the "integration of past experiences" was a higher-order Gestalt phenomenon that is not reducible to simpler ones. The

-89-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 362

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.