Verbal Behavior Of Mice And Men: Preference For Multiple Schedules Of Reinforcement As An Indicator Of The Evolution Of Verbal Behavior
Lewis, Adrianne Eileen
MetadataShow full item record
The evolution of verbal behavior in humans is believed to have appeared in the form of a complex operant behavior. According to behaviorists, the development verbal behavior which is exclusive to Homo sapiens could have been the result of an increased sensitivity to environmental stimuli in the form of another person. Previous animal research by Roark and Kopp (2008) found that sensitivity to environmental stimuli (as indicated by a preference to respond to a multiple schedule of reinforcement) and a preference to respond to additional cues could be a precursor to the evolution of verbal behavior in Sprague Dawley rats. This research extended the aforementioned animal study to assist in establishing a methodology for examining how verbal behavior might have evolved in humans. It was found that like their non-human counterparts, individuals did in fact prefer to respond to additional environmental stimuli when given a choice of concurrent schedules of reinforcement which may be an indication of the development of verbal behavior in its most rudimentary form.