Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Pietras

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

In order to better understand the role motivating operations (MOs) serve in preceding and evoking behavior, it is useful to examine the effects of whether manipulating motivation can influence performance on tasks with known behavioral outcomes. It is well established that altered stimulus control is responsible for changes in responding on tasks of generalization and discrimination. Therefore, if stimulus control could be influenced by MOs, then perhaps stimulus discriminations could be improved by manipulating the relevant MO. To this end, the effects of altering motivation via food deprivation were examined in pigeons using a titrating-delayed-matching-to-sample task. Additional pharmacological variables (i.e., scopolamine and nicotine) were introduced to determine if performance could be improved and/or deficits could be attenuated by these drugs, respectively. Results indicate that aspects of performance varied systematically as a function of deprivation level alone, though not in combination with acute administration of scopolamine and/or nicotine. Further research on the effects of motivation on current responding is needed to more effectively analyze environment/behavior relations.

Share

COinS