Pigeons' Inferences Are Transitive and the Outcome of Elementary Conditioning Principles: A Response

C. D.L. Wynne, L. von Fersen, J. E.R. Staddon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contrary to Markovits and Dumas (1992), this article maintains that, although semantically questionable, the transitive-inference performance in pigeons demonstrated by Fersen, Wynne, Delius, and Staddon (1991) was impeccably transitive. Fersen et al. proposed a local rule to account for performance. Couvillon and Bitterman (1992) provided a rationale for such a rule by pointing out that the equally reinforced central stimuli, B, C, and D, are unequally unreinforced. This article shows that many models that recognize an effect of nonreinforcement on stimulus value give similar results. Therefore, Couvillon and Bitterman's argument that nothing beyond conventional conditioning principles is necessary to account for the transitive-inference effect in pigeons is supported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-315
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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