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Stimulus Generalization and Responses To "Supernormal" Stimuli in the Unrewarded Pecking Behavior of Young Chicks

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1. Young chicks were tested daily from the age of one to nine days for unrewarded pecking preferences. 2. Those tested on stars differing in number of points pecked the most at stars having 3 or 9 points and showed a decreasing preference for intermediate stars with the 7-pointed star pecked at the least. Preference for different stars appears to be influenced by size. 3. There was a failure to obtain classical stimulus generalization effects in the groups shown a series of diamonds or a series of ovals. 4. Preference rankings for "supernormal" stimuli consisting of circles edged in different ways suggested that the preference hierarchy for two-dimensional forms may be very different when the forms are in extremely tiny size.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Chicago, U.S.A.


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