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.


This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the SEAB journal. It is not the copy of record. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Vasconcelos, M. and Urcuioli, P. J. (2009), Extensive Training is Insufficient to Produce The Work-Ethic Effect In Pigeons. Jrnl Exper Analysis Behavior, 91: 143–152. , which has been published in final form at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2614815/. Authors are not required to remove preprints posted prior to acceptance of the submitted version.


work ethic, effort, within-trial contrast, overtraining, key peck, pigeons

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