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Feline indolence: Cats prefer free to response-produced food


Previous experiments have shown that rats and pigeons will emit operants for food reinforcement even when identical food is freely available. Six cats with histories of either continuous or continuous and intermittent reinforcement were given the choice between food delivered 0.8 ml at a time on a continuous reinforcement (CRF) schedule or 200 ml of the same food freely available in a dish. Regardless of experimental history, all Ss eventually ate all the freely available food before beginning to respond on the CRF schedule.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kenneth Koffer.

Additional information

This research was carried out while both authors held predoctoral research fellowships from the Addiction Research Foundation, Toronto, Ont. The manuscript benefited from a critical reading by Dr. L. R. Boulter.

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Koffer, K., Coulson, G. Feline indolence: Cats prefer free to response-produced food. Psychon Sci 24, 41–42 (1971).

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  • Experimental Session
  • Free Food
  • Contact Plate
  • Intermittent Schedule
  • Basic Paradigm