Date of Award

Summer 1963

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Buchwald and Yamaguchi (1955) used a reversal learning situation to test the hypothesis that increasing drive will impair performance when the strength of the correct response is relatively weak. Thirty-six rats on 1 1/2 and 20 1/2 hours water deprivation were trained in a single unit T maze with 4 trials per day. The Ss were randomly assigned to 4 groups: high-high, high-low, low-low, and low-high, "low" and "high" referring to drive level for origin l and reversal learning. When a criterion of 10 correct runs out of 12 was reached, they were trained to reverse the direction of the response . The previously negative goal became - positive for all 4 groups, and the deprivation interval was changed for the high low and .low high groups . Reversal learning can be considered a difficult task, since the most dominant response, the one just learned, becomes incorrect . The results indicated that reversal learning was more rapid for the high drive group.

Since the Buchwald and Yamaguchi study is the only one to show that a high drive group is superior on learning a complex task, the present study is a further investigation of the problem. The purpose of the present study is to attempt to replicate the unexpected findings of Buchwald and Yamaguchi.