Science: Pigeons & People

By studying how animals behave, experimental psychologists hope eventually to get a better understanding of why complex humans behave as they do. Often the experimenters use rats, which are thought to act more like humans than most laboratory animals. This week Professor B. F. Skinner of Harvard's Psychological Laboratories told how he switched to pigeons and was pleasantly surprised by their humanlike behavior.

Forty-six-year-old Dr. Skinner has nothing particular against rats, except that they have the grave defect of living for only two or three years. A researcher can educate a promising rat, guide...

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