Zentall and Singer (2007a) hypothesized that our failure to replicate the work-ethic effect in pigeons (Vasconcelos, Urcuioli, & Lionello-DeNolf, 2007) was due to insufficient overtraining following acquisition of the high- and low-effort discriminations. We tested this hypothesis using the original work-ethic procedure (Experiment 1) and one similar to that used with starlings (Experiment 2) by providing at least 60 overtraining sessions. Despite this extensive overtraining, neither experiment revealed a significant preference for stimuli obtained after high effort. Together with other findings, these data support our contention that pigeons do not reliably show a work-ethic effect.
work ethic, effort, within-trial contrast, overtraining, key peck, pigeons
Date of this Version
Vasconcelos, Marco and Urcuioli, Peter J., "Extensive Training is Insufficient to Produce the Work-Ethic Effect in Pigeons" (2009). Department of Psychological Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 40.