Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #400
Dwarf Hamsters
Monday, May 31, 2010
11:00 AM–11:20 AM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB
Chair: Gwen Lupfer-Johnson (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Effects of Flavor Variety and Social Housing on Weight Gain in Juvenile Dwarf Hamsters (Phodopus Campbelli)
Domain: Experimental Analysis
JENNIFER LYNNETTE LACASSE (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer-Johnson (University of Alaska Anchorage), Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: As the prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to rise, a better understanding of the factors that influence one’s motivation to consume food becomes increasingly important. The current study utilized juvenile dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) to measure the effects of flavor variety on weight gain. Subjects (N = 70) were housed either in same-sex pairs or individually and were randomly assigned to be fed either one flavor or four flavors of nutritionally identical food pellets ad libitum. The main effect of flavor variety was not statistically significant; however, a significant interaction between flavor variety and housing was discovered. Flavor variety increased weight gain only in singly housed subjects. These results may be explained by either social learning processes, such as social influence or social facilitation, or by habituation; singly housed subjects fed one flavored food may have habituated to the taste, whereas for subjects housed in pairs, social interactions could have slowed the habituation process or even brought about dishabituation.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh