Suppression of Interspecific Aggression Using Toxic Reinforcers



The present chapter will focus on studies dealing with the control of interspecific aggression, the attacking and killing of members of one species by members of another, using interoceptive reinforcers. This body of literature arose partly out of an interest in the associative specificity of toxicosis to ingestive behavior. Earlier research had indicated that toxic reinforcers were far more effective in establishing aversions to eating or drinking than in suppressing other behavioral sequences. For example, Garcia, Kimeldorf, and Hunt (1961) found that about ten times as much Xirradiation was required to produce an aversion to entering a colored compartment than was necessary to establish an aversion to a flavor. Such evidence was of considerable theoretical significance in that it suggested a far greater specificity of the reinforcing properties of stimuli than had traditionally been assumed. Additional research was clearly required in order to establish the limits on the reinforcing properties of toxicosis; to this end, interspecific killing proved a convenient response to study.


Lithium Chloride True Predator Food Aversion Ingestive Behavior LiCI Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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