Performance correlates of social behavior and organization: Effects of group formation on operant performance in rhesus monkeys (M. mulatta)
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The performance of six adult rhesus monkeys on a fixed interval 1-min reinforcement schedule was examined under conditions where the reinforcement probabilities were either 1.00 or .80. The animals were tested with a reinforcement probability of 1.00 immediately after removal from their social group, tested again several months later with reinforcement probabilities of 1.00 and .80, and then retested with a reinforcement probability of .80 before, during, and after the formation of a new social group with the six monkeys.
The results supported an earlier report in which it was found that high ranking animals responded at a lower rate under a reinforcement probability of 1.00 than did low ranking animals and that the former also had a higher ratio of nonreinforced to reinforced responses than the lower ranked animals. These relationships were present in five of the six animals immediately after removal of the animals from their original group and during and after formation of the new group. They did not appear on tests conducted after the animals had been out of a social group for several months.
A third result was a suppression of operant performance which appeared in all animals following group formation. The magnitude and duration of this effect was inversely related to social rank and the time the animal had been a member of the group.
The data are discussed in terms of a carry-over of the effects of recent social experience on two factors: a more deliberate rate of response by higher ranking animals under 100% reinforcement and an inhibition of response bursting following omission of reinforcement by the lower ranking monkeys.
KeywordsSocial Group Rhesus Monkey Group Formation Social Experience Operant Performance
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