The Bischof-Kohler hypothesis holds that nonhuman animals cannot anticipate a future event and take appropriate action when that event involves satisfaction of a need not currently experienced. Tests of the Bischof-Kohler hypothesis were performed with squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus). In experimental trials with both species, a nonthirsty animal had its water bottle removed and then chose between a smaller and larger quantity of food. Consumption of the food induced thirst. Choice of the smaller quantity led to the return of the water bottle sooner than choice of the larger quantity. Monkeys reversed their baseline preference for the larger quantity of food when the experimental contingencies were introduced, but rats continued to prefer the larger amount. Although the rat findings support the Bischof-Kohler hypothesis, the monkey findings challenge it.
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