Demotivation (part 8)

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Demotivation (part 8)
Demotivation (part 8)

Video: Demotivation (part 8)

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Демотиваторы о рыбалке 8 2023, February

When cats condescend to cooperate with testers and pass traditional tests of intelligence and learning ability, they do very well on the tasks. As their owners are well aware, cats make it clear when they get bored with play, which means researchers need a lot of patience to run their tests.

Cats dislike uncertainty and often give up or choose the first answer they come across when faced with a situation where there is no definite path to the finish line. In the wild, a cat, deceived by an escaped prey, will eventually go hunting for something simpler. She chooses between the time and energy expended and the likely value of the loot. In intelligence tests, cats are willing to learn when they are well rewarded for it, but they will learn to “learn not bother” when faced with a task whose purpose is unclear to them and receiving a reward is uncertain.

Black cat examines the surroundings from a height, photo photograph
Black cat examines the surroundings from a height, photo photograph

L.T. Hobhouse conducted experiments consisting of simple tasks that his animals had to complete in order to receive a reward. He noticed that the innate behavior of cats made this difficult. He writes: “I did my first experiment with my cat Tim, a small black cat not older than one year. Tim is a very sociable creature that follows on the heels of his friends like a dog. But psychologically speaking, it has two big drawbacks. First, his attention is very distracted. And even worse, he eats very irregularly, according to a regime known only to him alone. Therefore, it is impossible to say in advance whether the interest in the procedure will be maintained at least for some time."

Here is one of Hobhouse's experiments. “I put a piece of meat on a piece of cardboard with a string tied to it. The cardboard lies where the cat cannot reach it, and the string hangs down. I thought that while playing Tim would pull the lace, and was very surprised when he did not pay any attention to the lace. Seven times in a row, before his eyes, I pulled the meat down and gave it to him. Neither this, nor a series of other attempts, when the cardboard was lying on the table almost within the cat's reach, did not lead to anything. One day the kitten, while playing, grabbed the string while I was preparing for the experiment, and pulled off the meatless cardboard. In all other cases, he either did not make any attempts at all, or he tried to grab not the lace, but immediately the meat.

Спустя две недели я начал серию экспериментов, привязав веревку к ножке стула, чтобы сделать ее более заметной. 14 попыток не дали никакого результата. На следующий день еще 8 попыток закончились ничем, зато во время девятой кот слегка прикусил шнурок рядом с моими пальцами, пока я укладывал его, и как только отпустил, лапой потянул его вниз.

He most likely bit him as he smelled like fish. Obviously, the cat grabbed the string with its paws precisely in order to pull the fish off the table, since if he were attracted only by the smell of what the string was smeared with, his mouth would be enough for him. On the next try, he sat quietly for a while, and then pulled the rope again. The next time he began to wash, and I postponed for a while, but shifting the cord, I noticed that he was watching me. As soon as I let go of the lace, he pulled on it. The next time he did the same. The next day, Tim seemed to have forgotten everything. Passing under the lace, he lightly brushed it with his tail. The second time he rubbed himself against the lace, but again he went away. I had to straighten the lace. Tim watched me closely, and then pulled the lace down. Then 5 more times he pulled the cardboard down without the slightest hesitation."

The cat seems to treat the experiment as a game, although Hobhouse does not say so. One must understand the reasons for the many failed attempts. It may have been difficult for the cat to see the string, since farsighted cats and it is difficult for them to see the thin string up close. There is another explanation - when the cat pulled off the cardboard for the very first time, he did not receive a reward and immediately lost interest in the game. Later he was interested in the smell of fish. And in the next series of experiments, the cat received the fish from the very beginning, which served as an incentive to master the trick "pull the string". Hobhouse has proven how easy it is to demotivate a cat.

In one set of experiments, cats were shown a pair of wooden figures that could have different shapes, sizes and colors, such as a black square to the left of a white circle. The cat chooses one of the objects by touching it with its nose, and every time it touches, for example, a black square, it receives a reward. When the cat begins to constantly select a black square, the experimenters randomly begin to move it relative to the white circle. After numerous patient repetitions, the cat begins to favor the black square no matter what shape the object is on the left side. (The criterion for success is choosing an object of the correct shape in 80% of cases, since sometimes cats are accidentally mistaken). Later, the white circle can be replaced with a figure of any other shape, for example, a white square, a white triangle,but the cat has already learned to choose a black square and does not care how another object looks. These tests not only examine a cat's ability to distinguish between shape, color and texture, but also help evaluate other aspects of feline intelligence.

Having found the right solution to one of the problems, cats quickly learn to generalize experience and quickly cope with the following tasks. At first, each new pair of objects takes dozens of tries before the cats reach the magic mark of 80%. After cats learn to distinguish between 50 pairs of objects, they only need ten attempts. In other words, cats understand what the rules of the game are and can quickly figure out which of the two objects they receive a reward for.

Integrated learning and decision making (part 9)
Integrated learning and decision making (part 9)

Related article Integrated Learning and Decision Making (Part 9)

Once they find the right solution, cats can draw conclusions, but conclusions are not so obvious from erroneous answers. Cats get bored and refuse to cooperate with researchers if they give the wrong answer every time and, as a result, are not rewarded. If the cat is lucky enough to give the correct answer on the first try and get a treat, she will understand much faster how to solve the problem than if the first attempt fails. This is not due to a lack of intelligence in cats, but due to their instinctive hunting behavior. If the mouse is not there where the cat first expected to catch it, then the cat does not immediately rush to look elsewhere. Cats are the kind of hunters who don't follow standard search patterns. On the contrary, hunting animals go first to where they are most likely to catch their prey.

Cats can't stand uncertainty and if they don't see a direct route to the reward, they lose interest in the task. Therefore, it is difficult for them to solve the problem when from two identical shapes (for example, 2 black squares or 2 white circles) they need to select an object located on the right or left. In the world of cats there is no equivalent to this problem, so it is difficult for them to understand what is required of them. Many cats, in the end, can find the right solution, but they act in a rather random way.

Cats that are offered both simple and complex tests are faster at solving complex problems than cats receiving only complex tasks. For example, a cat that only performed difficult tasks was unable to solve the problem of choosing a black or white object, despite 600 attempts. Cats, who are only given difficult tasks, lose motivation and are satisfied with the handout they receive from time to time, randomly choosing the correct answer. In performing some tasks, cats are satisfied with work below their capabilities. It's not about the intelligence of the cat, but how well the test is designed.

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