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A failure to find schedule-induced grit and water consumption in the pigeon Whalen, Thomas Eric

Abstract

In the first experiment two hungry, but otherwise undeprived, pigeons were exposed to various fixed interval food reinforcement schedules for keypecking while either water or grit was concurrently, freely available. The inter-reinforcement interval was varied from 30 sec to 16 min in different phases of the experiment. Both subjects consumed grit, but neither subject drank water. The next four experiments attempted to replicate the grit consumption that occurred in the first experiment or to produce water consumption. In these experiments the grit and water containers were moved to various locations within the experimental chamber, the protein content of the subject's diet was varied, and the reflective windows in the chamber were covered to eliminate the possibility that attacks at their own reflections were competing with the subject's tendency to consume grit or water. The subjects did not consume grit or water in any of these experiments. The implications of this lack of consistent water and grit consumption behaviour in the pigeon for various theories of the determinants of behaviour are examined.

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