Caninology – Decision Making

In this experiment our Resident Scientist Dr. Albert investigates how dogs make decisions.

Albert was given 2 vending machines and 5 balls. As seen in our previous experiments, Dr. Albert knows that the first vending machine (on the right of the screen) exchanges 1 ball for a one small treat and the second vending machine (on the left of the screen) exchanges 3 balls for a large treat (that is equal to about 4 small treats). He needs to decide how to spend his toys. He has plenty of choices – for example he can put 4 balls into machine 1 and receive 4 small treats and play with the remaining ball. Or he can put 3 balls into machine 2 , get 4 treats and then play with 2 balls. But Dr. Albert is a Labrador so he goes for the maximum food option which is 3 balls into machine 2 plus 2 balls into machine 1 – it gives him the maximum amount of treats !