Term of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

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.