The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 169–177 | Cite as

Suggested experimental procedure for determining the satisfaction function of animals

  • Anatol Rapoport
  • Alfonso Shimbel


Some general experimental procedures are suggested to test a previously developed theory of motivation interactions which gives a quantitative description of factors in motivation. The experiments are devised with a view of varying simultaneously the “positive” and “negative” terms of a postulated satisfaction function which is supposed to depend on the subject's “effort” and “remuneration.” If the output of effort on the part of the subject reaches a steady state for a given set of conditions, this output is taken to be the optimum output under those conditions. In other words, it is supposed that the satisfaction function is “maximized.” From the equations describing the derivatives of the satisfaction function with respect to different variables, the “biological constants” of the individual can be computed and his behavior predicted under a variety of other conditions. In particular, on the basis of previous papers, it should be possible to predict the behavior of two “cooperating” and “sharing” individuals.


Individual Animal Logarithmic Function Optimum Output Adjustment Time General Experimental Procedure 
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Copyright information

© The University of Chicago Press 1947

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatol Rapoport
    • 1
  • Alfonso Shimbel
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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