Episode 218: Dr Joe Layng Pt 2: Schedules of Reinforcement and the Effect on Social Behavior
I am delighted that we are starting out the New Year with a conversation with Dr Joe Layng. Dr Layng is a behavior analyst who has over 40 years' experience in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior, with a particular focus on the design of teaching/learning environments.
In Part 1 of our conversation Joe defined contingency adduction and shared several fascinating experiments that were done with pigeons. Pigeons showed self awareness by passing the mirror test. They demonstrated tool use and they left themselves notes so they would know which color key to peck after a long delay. These experiments show that it is not a genetically based cognitive ability that determines whether or not an individual can solve a particular puzzle, but the component skills that are in repertoire. This is true for pigeons, people and horses.
In Part two Joe describes a series of experiments showing how the manipulation of schedules of reinforcement changes social behavior. In a very clever series of experiments Dr Paul Andronis demonstrated that pigeons showed perspective taking, theory of mind and symbolic aggression.
These studies take us to a whole new appreciation of what animals are capable of. As you listen to this episode, if you’re wondering how all these experiments with pigeons relate to horses, that’s one of the big ones.
Articles cited in this conversation with Joe Layng:
THE SPONTANEOUS USE OF A TOOL BY A PIGEON
ROBERT EPSTEIN and SAMUEL D. MEDALIE
Behavior Analysis Letters, 3 (1983) 241-247
Contingency Adduction of "Symbolic Aggression" by Pigeons
Paul Thomas Andronis Northern Michigan University, T.V. Joe Layng The New School for the Learning Sciences, and Israel Goldiamond The University of Chicago
The Verbal Analysis of Behavior. 1997, 14 5-17
Spontaneous cooperation between pigeons: S o c i a l behavior selected by ontogenic consequences in the Prisoner's Dilemma
P. T. Andronis
ON PIGEONS AND PEOPLE: A PRELIMINARY LOOK AT THE COLUMBAN SIMULATION PROJECT
The Behavior Analyst 1981,4, 43-55 No. 1 (Spring)
The Role of Contingency Adduction in the Creative Act
The Psychological Record