Abstract # 52:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


M. S. Rossettie1, A. E. Parrish3 and M. J. Beran1,2
1Language Research Center, Georgia State University, 3401 Panthersville Road, Decatur, GA 30034, USA, 2Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, 3Department of Psychology, The Citadel
     Self-control - the ability to forego an immediately available reward in lieu of an objectively more desirable reward after a time delay or through greater effort - has been assessed in nonhuman animals with a variety of tests, including exchange tasks. Exchange tasks provide an intuitive and spontaneous measure of self-control as they require little to no training as the animals are faced with the option of eating a currently-possessed food item or inhibiting this response to exchange the food for a better reward. The current study utilized item exchange as the active behavioral response to measure self-control among three chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Chimpanzees were offered opportunities to “trade up” by exchanging a currently possessed food item for an often better reward, sometimes needing to make several exchanges before receiving the best reward. To assess the factors that impact performance in obtaining the highest-valued item, we manipulated reward type, size, visibility, delay to exchange, and location of the highest-valued reward in the sequence of exchangeable items. Despite some individual differences across experiments, in most cases, the chimpanzees showed self-control by trading until successfully obtaining the highest-valued item. These results support the concept that self-control in chimpanzees is robust, even when sustained delay of gratification and perhaps anticipation of future rewards is required.