Economic Reasoning in Non-human Animals
A handful of comparative psychologists at American universities have attempted to demonstrate economic reasoning in non-human animals. Early attempts along these lines focus on the behavior of rats and pigeons. These studies draw on the tenets of behavioral psychology, where the main goal is to discover analogs to human behavior in experimentally-tractable non-human animals. They are also methodologically similar to the work of Ferster and Skinner. Methodological similarities aside, early researchers in non-human economics deviate from behaviorism in their terminology. Although such studies are set up primarily in an operant conditioning chamber, using food rewards for pecking/bar-pressing behavior, the researchers describe pecking and bar pressing not in terms of reinforcement and stimulus–response relationships, but instead in terms of work, demand, budget, and labor. Recent studies have adopted a slightly different approach, taking a more evolutionary perspective, comparing economic behavior of humans to a species of non-human primate, the capuchin monkey.
Other articles related to "economic, animal, economic reasoning":
... Recent work on economic behavior in non-human animals has focused on capuchin monkeys ... inclined toward the behaviorist tradition of the laboratory animal-human behavior analog ... they attempt to adopt a more evolutionary perspective, positing that economic reasoning might be basic, unlearned, and serve some adaptive function ...
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