Paper Review of:  Herrnstein, Loveland & Cable (1976)

You can find this paper on the Moodle site for this course.

You are welcome to simply insert your answers into this document, as long as your name is on the final document.  Spelling and sentence structure are important!

Also note that you are sometimes asked to consider specific paragraphs.  That does not suggest that you should consider only those paragraphs as you look for helpful information.

Note:  As this paper progresses, there are a number of statistical procedures pertaining to the Mann-Whitney U test.  I suggest that you don’t worry about understanding this, unless you are curious.  Instead, I suggest that you concentrate on the authors’ interpretations of what the statistics have revealed.

  1. In your own words, what makes this study unique among other laboratory studies of animal discrimination and generalization?  (10 pts)
  2. Suppose someone said, “This study showed that all of the pigeons learned how to distinguish trees from non-trees without any errors.”  What is an accurate response to that        statement? (10 Pts.)
  3. Suppose it is your job to teach someone how to interpret Figure 1 (Not Table 1). What      would you say? (20 Pts.)
  4. How do the pigeons demonstrate discrimination, and how do they demonstrate generalization, in this study?  For context, limit your answer to the “W” experiments. (20 Pts.)  (10 pts.)
  5. I would suggest that subtraction is more difficult to learn than addition is, and division is more difficult to learn than multiplication is.  (a) What result in this study relates to that             observation?  (b) Do you think that it is relevant?  Why, or why not? (10 pts)
  6. Consider this sentence on p. 298. “Pigeons respond to clusters of features more or less isomorphic with the clusters we respond to ourselves.”  (You may need to do a bit   of reading about isomorphism in psychology, specifically in Gestalt Psychology, or in           other areas related to perception.)  Here is the 4-part question:  (a) What is the issue,      here?  (b) What are the competing hypotheses?  (c) What do the authors conclude, and (d) What do you think?  (20 pts.)
  7. (a) Do you think that this study has demonstrated that pigeons can acquire concepts?       (b) Support your answer with evidence and reasoning.  (20 pts)

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