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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The formation of learning set by pigeons was studied using procedures similar to those of Harlow (1949). The Ss consisted of four male homing pigeons varying in age from 3 to 7 years. The problems were 496 combinations of 33 three dimensional stimuli varying in size, shape, and colors similar to those used in earlier studies with the rhesus monkey (Harlow; 1949; and Miles & Meyer, 1956). The Ss were divided into two groups. One group viewed the stimuli moving toward them. The other group viewed the stimuli in a stationary position. Eight problems per day, at 6 trials per problem were given until the 496 problems were completed. The two groups did not differ significantly in their performance, but both groups manifested a high degree of learning set formation. One group of Ss reached 83% on trial two while the other group reached 87%. One S reached 88% on trial two and 96% on trial six. S significant difference between blocks of problems was noted F=31.39 p<.001. A Duncan range test for more than two randomized groups showed a significant difference at the .01 level of confidence in accordance with increases in mean percent correct over blocks of problems and trial two performance over blocks of problems. The percentage data was transformed using an arcsin transformation.
Copyright 1968 Larry R. Gilles
Gilles, Larry R., "Learning Set Formation in Pigeons" (1968). Master's Theses. 1163.