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Comments on “Intra- and interspecific variation in self-control capacities of parrots in a delay of gratification task”

Abstract

Brucks (Anim Cogn 25(2):473–491, 2021) have published an intriguing paper on the differing abilities of various species of parrots to succeed in a delay of gratification task. I find their interspecies comparisons of considerable interest but take exception to their misrepresentation of prior research on delayed gratification from our laboratory in Koepke (J Comp Psychol 129:339–346, 2015). Contrary to their claims, our subject was never trained on the task; rather, one might argue instead that all their subjects received considerable training or at least forms of pre-exposure that could affect their overall claims. I also briefly discuss other design features that may have affected their results.

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Acknowledgements

This commentary was written with the support of donors to The Alex Foundation. I thank several colleagues and reviewers for their comments, which improved the manuscript considerably.

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Correspondence to Irene M. Pepperberg.

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I declare no competing interest.

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As this manuscript is a commentary, no experiments were performed.

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Pepperberg, I.M. Comments on “Intra- and interspecific variation in self-control capacities of parrots in a delay of gratification task”. Anim Cogn (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-022-01644-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-022-01644-2

Keywords

  • Delayed gratification
  • Parrots
  • Self-control
  • Comparative cognition
  • Executive function