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Food-tokens as incentives for learning by chimpanzees

Author: John Todd Cowles
Publisher: Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins Press, ©1937.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Yale University 1937
Series: Comparative psychology monographs.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In laboratories of psychology it is common practice to rely on the need of animal subjects for food almost to the exclusion of other possible forms of motivation, whereas in the case of human subjects the opposite is true. This difference may be unfavorable to the comparability of results for man versus other animals. For this reason, and also on account of convenience, economy, nutritional hygiene, dietary  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Cowles, John Todd.
Food-tokens as incentives for learning by chimpanzees.
Baltimore, Md., The Johns Hopkins press, ©1937
(DLC) 38004964
(OCoLC)822927
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: John Todd Cowles
OCLC Number: 843860273
Notes: Without thesis note.
Description: 1 online resource (96 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Comparative psychology monographs.
Responsibility: John Todd Cowles.

Abstract:

"In laboratories of psychology it is common practice to rely on the need of animal subjects for food almost to the exclusion of other possible forms of motivation, whereas in the case of human subjects the opposite is true. This difference may be unfavorable to the comparability of results for man versus other animals. For this reason, and also on account of convenience, economy, nutritional hygiene, dietary regimen, and the importance of extending motivation to higher psychological levels than those of common physiological needs, it would seem important to attempt to extend the range of experimental motivation for animal subjects. In the Yale Laboratories of Primate Biology this is being attempted for the chimpanzee by tests of the value, dependability, and measurability of various motivating conditions distinct from, or only indirectly related to, hunger. Among the possibilities which are receiving attention are the presentation of an object which has come to be strongly desired or treasured by the subject; entertainment reward, in the shape of stimulus-producing mechanisms which may be operated by the subject; social rewards, such as companionship, exercise, social play, commendation or praise by the experimenter; or, the utilization of a token or symbolic incentive, whose value depends upon trained association with food or with some other motivating condition. Doctor Cowles offers in this report a significant contribution to the general subject of token incentives. His study supplements Wolfe's (1936) previously reported investigation concerning the value of tokens. It has now been established that this motivational procedure may be used advantageously for chimpanzee in certain types of experiment"--Foreword. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

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