Term of Award

1978

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Grover Richards

Committee Member 2

Robert Haney

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to condition six king snakes, Lampropeltis getulus floridana, to manipulate a pigeon key for water reinforcement under three schedules: CRF, FR6, and FI 30 seconds. The effects of moulting on response rate, drinking, and body weight were also examined. All snakes were first placed on a CRF schedule. After the CRF schedule, three snakes were placed on FR 6 and three were placed on FI 30 seconds. The final stage of the experiment was a return to the CRF schedule for all snakes. This study demonstrated that the king snake can maintain a FR 6 and FI 30 second schedule. Intermittent schedules clearly produced higher rates of responding than continuous reinforcement. Response rates and body weight were lower during periods of moulting. Moulting also decreased water consumption in five out of six snakes.

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