`` Marshmallow experiment '' shows that crows have the same self-control as human children


Kasturi Roy

As a result of conducting a “ marshmallow experiment ” on crows that measures children's self-control and planning, a research team by Rachel Miller and others, a psychology researcher at Cambridge University, found that crows' self-control is equivalent to children It became clear.

Delayed gratification in New Caledonian crows and young children: influence of reward type and visibility | SpringerLink

The “Marshmallow Experiment” puts the child under the condition “If you can endure without eating the marshmallow placed in front of you for 15 minutes, you can eat two marshmallows”, and whether you can endure without eating Observing children's self-control by observing. Miller tested wild crows and children aged 3-5 years, similar to what was done in the marshmallow experiment.

Experiments on crows were done with apples and meat, not marshmallows. The experiment was performed 20 times, and in the first 10 times, an apple was placed in front of the rotating table and meat was placed in the back. Cover the turntable with a transparent case so that only the one that comes to the front can be removed. If you leave it for a while without taking an apple, the stand will rotate and you will be able to remove the meat after about 15 seconds, but if you take the apple before the meat appears, the stand will stop and the meat will I will not be able to take it. The research team observed whether crows passed through the less satisfied apples and waited for the more satisfying meat to come to the front. In the last 10 sessions, we placed a meat in the foreground and an apple in the back to test whether to take the meat immediately.

The procedure cannot be explained to the crow, so before the experiment, put the crow and the turntable in the henhouse and place food only in front of or behind the turntable to see how the turntable rotates. I was able to figure out what to do. Crows that did not respond to the food on the carousel were excluded, and the experiment was conducted with nine crows.

The experiment was conducted after sufficient training was given to the crows, and it was found that all crows selected meat through apples more than 18 times out of 20. In addition, even when experimenting with a small amount of meat and a large amount of meat instead of apples and meat against crows, it is said that a large amount of meat is selected by passing through a small amount of meat more than 18 times in 20 times. The result was obtained.

A similar experiment was conducted on children to compare with crows, and results similar to those of crows were obtained, indicating that crow's self-control was not significantly different from human children. In the experiment on children, `` apple and meat '' is replaced with `` white sticker and glitter sticker '', `` small amount of meat and large amount of meat '' is replaced with `` one sticker and four stickers '' It was.

However, when the experiment was carried out with the turntable hidden and only the food in the foreground visible, the crows tended to take the food in the foreground immediately, regardless of the level of satisfaction with the food in the foreground. On the other hand, in the experiment on children, even if the turntable was hidden, the experimental results were the same as when it was not hidden.

Miller said, “Children can guess from memory and determine which part of the turntable has a better sticker, but crows may have a weak ability to guess from past memory. The study may need to investigate the impact of memory and guessing on the success rate of the experiment. '

By Jesse van Vliet

in Science,   Creature, Posted by darkhorse_log