chapter  19
20 Pages

Levels of Organized Behavior in Rats

WithE. J. Capaldi

This chapter discusses behavioral organization in the discrete-trial instrumental runway situation. Behavioral organization in that task seems in no way unique and so is generalized to various other situations. Understanding behavioral cohesion involves, among other things, identifying the types and varieties of behaviors that may become organized into functional units, describing the conditions responsible for producing behavioral organization, and isolating the processes that are responsible for giving rise to behavioral organization. In animal learning, early attempts to explain how behavior becomes organized involved the postulation of what is called chaining. Chaining may be employed to explain the kind of behavioral organization that occurs when a series of responses is executed in rapid succession. The formation of individual units in an organized whole is called a chunk. Chunking is facilitated by grouping. Grouping involves the presenting of events in some relationship to each other.