- OXFORD LIBRARY OF PSYCHOLOGY
- Short Contents
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- Grouping and Segmentation in Human and Nonhuman Primates
- Seeing What Is Not ThereIllusion, Completion, and Spatiotemporal Boundary Formation in Comparative Perspective
- The Cognitive Chicken: Visual and Spatial Cognition in a Non-mammalian Brain
- New Perspectives on Absolute Pitch in Birds and Mammals
- Reaction-time Explorations of Visual Perception, Attention, and Decision in Pigeons
- The Competition for Attention in Humans and Other Animals
- Establishing Frames of Reference for Finding Hidden GoalsThe Use of Multiple Spatial Cues by Nonhuman Animals and People
- Contemporary Thought on the Environmental Cues that Affect Causal Attribution
- Associative Accounts of Causality Judgments
- Rational RatsCausal Inference and Representation
- ContrastA More Parsimonious Account of Cognitive Dissonance Effects
- Methodological Issues in Comparative Memory Research
- Memory Processing
- The Questions of Temporal and Spatial Displacement in Animal Cognition
- Animal Metacognition
- A Comparative Analysis of Episodic Memory: Cognitive Mechanisms and Neural Substrates
- Spatial, Temporal, and Associative Behavioral Functions Associated with Different Subregions of the Hippocampus
- Arthropod NavigationAnts, Bees, Crabs, Spiders Finding Their Way
- Comparative Spatial CognitionEncoding of Geometric Information from Surfaces and Landmark Arrays
- <b>Corvid CachingThe Role of Cognition</b>
- <b>Behavioristic, Cognitive, Biological, and Quantitative Explanations of Timing</b>
- <b>Sensitivity to TimeImplications for the Representation of Time</b>
- Comparative Cognition of Number Representation
- Similarities Between Temporal and Numerosity Discriminations
- A Modified Feature Theory as an Account of Pigeon Visual Categorization
- Artificial Categories and Prototype Effects in Animals
- Relational Discrimination Learning in Pigeons
- Similarity and Difference in the Conceptual Systems of PrimatesThe Unobservability Hypothesis
- Spatial PatternsBehavioral Control and Cognitive Representation
- The Organization of Sequential BehaviorConditioning, Memory, and Abstraction
- The Comparative Psychology of Ordinal Knowledge
- Truly Random Operant RespondingResults and Reasons
- From Momentary Maximizing to Serial Response Times and Artificial Grammar Learning
- Intelligences and BrainsAn Evolutionary Bird’s-Eye View
- Transitive Inference in Nonhuman Animals
- Dolphin Problem Solving
- “What” and “Where” Analysis and Flexibility in Avian Visual Cognition
- What Is Challenging About Tool Use? The Capuchin’s Perspective
- Social Learning in RatsHistorical Context and Experimental Findings
- Inter-species Social Learning in DogsThe Inextricable Roles of Phylogeny and Ontogeny
- Social LearningStrategies, Mechanisms, and Models
- Chimpanzee Social Cognition in Early LifeComparative–Developmental Perspective
- Social Learning and Culture in Primates: Evidence from Free-Ranging and Captive Populations
- Postscript: An Essay on the Study of Cognition in Animals
Abstract and Keywords
When humans expend great energy to achieve a goal they generally appreciate the results more than if hard work is not necessary. This phenomenon, known as justification of effort, is a form of cognitive dissonance reduction (an attempt to alleviate the discomfort resulting from conflict between beliefs and behavior). But the fact that pigeons too show a preference for a stimulus (associated with food) that follows greater effort over a different stimulus (also associated with food) that follows less effort suggests that a simpler behavioral mechanism is involved. We have proposed a simpler mechanism based on contrast between the end of the effort and the reinforcement (or the signal for reinforcement) that follows. This model predicts that any relatively aversive event can be used to enhance the value of the reinforcer that follows it. In support of this general model, we have found this effect in pigeons when the prior event consists of more rather than less effort (pecking), a long rather than a short delay, and the absence of food rather than food. We have also found that a pigeon’s preference for food at one location can shift towards a different location if acquiring food at the new location requires that the pigeon work harder to obtain food there. Contrast may also play a role in other social psychological phenomena that have been interpreted as cognitive dissonance effects.
Thomas R. Zentall earned his B.S. degree in psychology and his B.E.E. in Electrical Engineering from Union College in 1963, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969. After an appointment at the University of Pittsburgh, he joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky, where he is now DiSilvestro Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology. His areas of research, primarily with animals, include social learning, cognition, memory, and suboptimal choice.
Rebecca A. Singer, Department of Psychology, Georgetown College, Kentucky.
Tricia S. Clement, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky.
Andrea M. Friedrich, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
Jerome Alessandri, Laboratory URECA, Université de Lille 3, Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France.
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