Superstition in the pigeon.

@article{Skinner1948SuperstitionIT,
  title={Superstition in the pigeon.},
  author={Burrhus F. Skinner},
  journal={Journal of experimental psychology},
  year={1948},
  volume={38 2},
  pages={
          168-72
        }
}
  • B. Skinner
  • Published 1 April 1948
  • Psychology
  • Journal of experimental psychology
To say that a reinforcement is contingent upon a response may mean nothing more than that it follows the response. It may follow because of some mechanical connection or because of the mediation of another organism; but conditioning takes place presumably because of the temporal relation only, expressed in terms of the order and proximity of response and reinforcement. Whenever we present a state of affairs which is known to be reinforcing at a given drive, we must suppose that conditioning… 

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Marking, Memory and Superstition in the Pigeon

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  • D. Blough
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1959
Pigeons matched a flickering or steady sample by pecking the correspondingly illuminated response key, and this matching behavior was found to depend on the length of the delay intervening between the disappearance of the sample and theBird's choice response, and upon the bird's behavior during the delay interval.

Response variability in pigeons in a pavlovian task

Training pigeons in a within-subjects Pavlovian autoshaping procedure suggests that response variability may be unaffected in a situation in which an animal’s behavior is inconsequential to outcome delivery.

OPERANT CONTROL OF PREENING IN PIGEONS.

  • J. A. Hogan
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1964
Preening in four pigeons was observed and recorded during operant level determinations, continuous and variable interval reinforcement, and extinction. The rate at which preening responses occur

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The stimuli which are present when an operant is reinforced modify the subsequent frequency of emission of the response, and if responses are reinforced at one wavelength and extinguished at all others the gradient is sharpened.

Observing Responses and Uncertainty Reduction

  • J. Steiner
  • Psychology, Biology
    The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology
  • 1967
Eliminating the response requirement showed that the effect was not simply due to the fact that informative stimuli permitted a saving of responses, and was consistent with the hypothesis that the reinforcing strength of the alternative stimuli varies with the amount of uncertainty they reduce.
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