The use of strategies in 2−choice behavior of children and chimpanzees

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Adult chimpanzees and 3 groups of human children (ages 3.5, 5.1, and 10.8) were tested in a 2-choice situation consisted of a 50:50 probability series. Chimpanzees and the 2 older groups of children were tested with and without initial 100% training. Approximately ½ the Ss in each group received Short-Run (conditional probability .39) and the other ½ Long-Run (conditional probability .64) sequences. Initial training and series contingencies had their strongest effects on behavior of 10-yr.-old children. Chimpanzees and 3-yr.-old children showed a strong win-stay, lose-shift strategy. This strategy was weaker in 5-yr.-old children. Under Short-Run conditions 10-yr.-old children showed greater persistence with an unsuccessful choice than 5-yr.-old children. Results indicate that choice of strategy and effect of patterns of reinforcing events on strategy interact with maturational and species variables. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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