Term of Award

1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

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

Abstract

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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