PSYC 355 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Functional Fixedness

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10 Mar 2017
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LECTURE 7 (Week 8): TOOL USE
1. Tool use defined
2. The development of tool use
- Tool Manufacture
- Social Tolerance
3. Causality and tool use
- Tube & Table tasks
- Triangulation
- Choosing the right tool
4. Functional understanding of tools
1. TOOL USE DEFINED
- The use of an external object as a functional extension of mouth or beak, hand or claw, in the
attaiet of a iediate goal (vanLawick-Goodall, 1970)
o Includes rat pressing lever
- Thus tool use is the eteral eploet of a uattahed eviroetal ojet to alter ore
efficiently the form, position, or condition of another object, another organism, or the user itself
when the user holds or carries the tool during or just prior to use and is responsible for the
proper and effective orientation of the tool. Bek, 
o Does’t ilude dolphi arrig a spoge to stir up otto ausig food saller fish
to come out
o Rostrum beak gets very scratched up if try to stir up the bottom without the sponge
- A tool can be said to mediate sensory input (as the sponge does for dolphins), mediate
communication (as a stick might do when a chimpanzee waves it in the air while displaying to
another chimpanzee), or change another object (as a stone might do when a chimpanzee uses it
to rak a ut. “t. Aat & Horto, 
o Includes dolphin with sponge
2. THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOOL USE
A. TOOL MANUFACTURE
- Trial and error (individual learning)?
- Learning from others (social learning)?
o Studies of New Caledonian Crows
Can probe into crevices using blade of grass
Shapes of tool vary by geography
Juveniles remain near parents (chance for observation)
Biological predispositions to engage in certain actions, but elaborated by
learning
B. SOCIAL TOLERANCE
- Studies of Capuchin monkeys
o Juveniles observe others
o Others tolerate presence
3. CAUSALITY AND TOOL USE
- What do tool-using species understand about tools?
o Food-reinforced understanding of behavior?
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