Term of Award
Master of Arts in Psychology
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)
Department of Psychology
Janice N. Steirn
Committee Member 1
Janice H. Kennedy
Committee Member 2
John D. Murray
Committee Member 3
Richard L. Rogers
Two experiments investigated the underlying mechanisms in pigeons' transitive inference (TI) performance. These experiments examined TI performance in the absence o£ positive value transfer while allowing a linear arrangement of the stimuli. Experiment 1 presented pigeons with a five-element series (A+B-, B+C-, C+D-, D+E-), in which one group received 100% reinforcement for choices of A and the other group received 50% reinforcement for choices of A. Successful TI performance was not found in either group. Experiment 2 was conducted because it was suspected that the stimuli in Experiment 1 resulted in a circular array. Experiment 2 employed the same design but utilized stimuli that had been successful in a previous experiment; both groups demonstrated TI performance in test, with no difference between groups. Although these results support neither Value Transfer Theory (Fersen, Wynne, Delius, & Staddon, 1991) nor the reinforcement history hypothesis (Couvillion & Bitterman, 1992), they are consistent with a linear order explanation of TI.
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Weaver, Janice Elaine, "An Examination of Mechanisms Underlying Performance on Transitive Inference Tasks by Pigeons: Linear Order Theory versus Value Transfer Theory" (1994). Legacy ETDs. 218.