PIGEONS DEFERRING GRATIFICATION.

PIGEONS DEFERRING GRATIFICATION. In a famous experiment, George Ainslie showed that some pigeons can bind themselves to resist temptation just as Ulysses tied himself to the mast. In the experiment, pecking a green key kept a pigeon from having the option of pecking a red key to get an immediate small reward. If the pigeon waited it would get a big reward. As Bloom describes the results of Ainslie’s experiment, “Some of the pigeons learned to use the green key to help themselves hold out for the big reward, just as a person might put temptation out of reach.”

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