Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) show self-control for access to a mirror

by Collins, Christopher Matthew

Abstract (Summary)
Self control is defined as choosing a larger, delayed reinforcer over a smaller, more immediate reinforcer with the opposite defined as impulsivity. In general, results from self-control research involving avian and non-primate mammalian subjects have shown a strong to moderate impulsive choice bias whereas studies using adult humans and non-human primates have shown a strong self-control bias. While the non-human self-control literature is rich with studies using select avian and mammalian species, there is very little self-control literature on the choice behaviors of fish or social reward. The present experiment assessed preference in male Betta splendens using an immediate/2 sec mirror access option verses a 15 sec delay/15 sec mirror access option. Results revealed a statistically significant bias for the self-control choice option. The findings are discussed in terms of current theories of choice behavior and are compared to choice preferences in avian and mammalian species.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Allen D. Szalda-Petree; Dr. Wendy Shields; Dr. Jerry Smith

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:08/07/2008

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