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Author Allen, C.
Title Transitive inference in animals: Reasoning or conditioned associations? Type Book Chapter
Year 2006 Publication Rational Animals? Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 175-186
Abstract It is widely accepted that many species of nonhuman animals appear to engage in transitive inference,

producing appropriate responses to novel pairings of non-adjacent members of an ordered series

without previous experience of these pairings. Some researchers have taken this capability as

providing direct evidence that these animals reason. Others resist such declarations, favouring instead

explanations in terms of associative conditioning. Associative accounts of transitive inference have

been refined in application to a simple 5-element learning task that is the main paradigm for

laboratory investigations of the phenomenon, but it remains unclear how well those accounts

generalise to more information-rich environments such as social hierarchies which may contain scores

of individuals, and where rapid learning is important. The case of transitive inference is an example of

a more general dispute between proponents of associative accounts and advocates of more cognitive

accounts of animal behaviour. Examination of the specific details of transitive inference suggests

some lessons for the wider debate.
Address Texas A&M University
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Oxford University Press Place of Publication Oxford Editor Hurley, S.; Nudds, M.
Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume (down) Series Issue Edition
ISSN ISBN 978-0-19-852827-2 Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number refbase @ user @ Serial 611
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