A Behaviorological Analysis of Adjunctive Behavior

Adjunctive behavior is operant behavior that appears intermittently in the midst of other on–going behavior. It often appears to be an accidental intrusion that has little if any relevance to more important behavior that is already in progress and which it appears to interrupt, at least briefly. Adjunctive behavior is a schedule effect—that is, a […]

Effects of Ratio Reinforcement Schedules on Choice Behavior

Choice behavior under a concurrent VR-FR schedule of reinforcement was investigated in two experiments to test a molar theory of maximization. Hunger-motivated albino rats pressed two bars, one on an FR10 and the other on a VR10 schedule, for a food reward. With the total number of experiences with each bar equated and interalternative switching […]

Schedule-induced and operant mechanisms that influence response variability: A review and implications for future investigations

Response variability, a fundamental characteristic of behavior, may be in some cases an induced effect of reinforcement schedules. Research on schedule-induced response variability has shown that continuous reinforcement results in less variability than intermittent reinforcement schedules. Studies on the effects of intermittency of reinforcement, periodicity of reinforcement, and type of schedule have resulted in mixed […]

How animal psychology contributes to animal welfare

This article explores the contribution of animal psychology to animal welfare. Since animal welfare includes subjective welfare, it is crucial to know the subjective world of animals. Analysis of the concept of anthropomorphism is particularly important because it is a basic idea of animal ethics. The history of animal psychology, focusing on anthropomorphism and behaviourism, […]

Operant animal welfare- productive approaches and persistent difficulties

Operant procedures occupy a prominent role within animal welfare science because they provide information about the strength of animals’ preferences. It is assumed that strongly motivated choices commonly indicate conditions necessary for uncompromised welfare. A review of the literature shows that members of many species will work for access to resources not commonly provided to […]

Friendship among Adult Female Blue Monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis)

A study group of blue monkeys in the Kakamega Forest, Kenya, provides data on friendly relationships between adult females. Females are invariably antagonistic toward members of other groups, and collaborate with their own groupmates in defending territorial boundaries. Females are primarily responsible for these aggressive intergroup encounters, which occur every other day on average. Encounters […]

Validation of an auditory sensory reinforcement paradigm: Campbell’s monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli) do not prefer consonant over dissonant sounds

The central position and universality of music in human societies raises the question of its phylogenetic origin. One of the most important properties of music involves harmonic musical intervals, in response to which humans show a spontaneous preference for consonant over dissonant sounds starting from early human infancy. Comparative studies conducted with organisms at different […]

Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) captive propagation to promote recovery of declining populations

The Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) is endemic to the eastern United States with local distributions restricted to rocky habitats within deciduous forests. Over the last 40 years, woodrats have declined precipitously due to an array of human-mediated pressures. There is growing interest in the captive propagation of woodrats as a tool to promote in situ […]

Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird […]

Investigations Into Equine Transport-Related Problem Behaviors: Survey Results

Transport-related problem behaviors (TRPBs) in horses are an animal welfare concern, and many training methods in loading/travelling have been recommended to reduce their incidence. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of TRPB and training methods in Australia and to identify risks for and consequences of TRPB. An online survey was conducted, and respondents reported […]