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dc.contributor.advisorMcEwan, James S.A.
dc.contributor.advisorFoster, T. Mary
dc.contributor.authorHancox, Victoria Leigh
dc.date.accessioned2016-08-04T03:01:08Z
dc.date.available2016-08-04T03:01:08Z
dc.date.issued2016
dc.identifier.citationHancox, V. L. (2016). Sub-Optimal Choice Behaviour by Possums (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10577en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/10577
dc.description.abstractThis study aimed to investigate sub-optimal choice using six brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula.). Experiment 1 replicated Zentall and Stagner’s (2011) procedure where the possums were required to choose between two alternating alternatives; The low probability alternative (sub-optimal) was a discriminative stimuli signalling 3.5-s reinforcement on 20% of the trials, and non-reinforcement on 80% of the trials; the high probability alternative (optimal) was a non-discriminative stimuli signalling 1-s reinforcement 100% of the time regardless of the stimulus presented. This was unsuccessful as the possums showed a clear indifference to the alternatives. Due to these ambiguous results, we replicated two conditions of Stagner and Zentall’s (2010) procedures to achieve sub-optimal responding in possums. Experiment 2 was similar to Experiment 1, however the alternation was removed and the high probability alternative was a non-discriminative stimuli associated with 50% reinforcement regardless of the stimulus presented. Sub-optimal responding was not achieved, however the possums now showed a preference for the optimal alternative. Alternation may have affected Experiment 1 and to examine this theory, Experiment 3 was replicated without alternation. Interestingly, we found a preference for the high probability alternative. Experiment 4 replicated Experiment 3; however the length of time for reinforcement was altered to attenuate sub-optimal responding. A preference for the high probability alternative which provided an overall greater net payoff was found. The possums changed from indifference to choosing optimally. It appears that possums do not have a preference for the sub-optimal choice the same as pigeons.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Waikato
dc.rightsAll items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.titleSub-Optimal Choice Behaviour by Possums
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Waikato
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)
dc.date.updated2016-04-11T06:22:20Z
pubs.place-of-publicationHamilton, New Zealanden_NZ


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