Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Allen Szalda-Petree

Commitee Members

Daniel Denis Jerry Smith


betta, aggression, anti-depressant, Fluoxetine, priming


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Male betta fish are naturally aggressive to attract a mate and defend a territory. This makes them a good model for studying aggression and choice behavior. This study looked at male Betta splendens aggressive nature when impacted by priming with a female and exposure to the SSRI drug fluoxetine. Males in the study received a prime before each choice trial, and the latency for each choice was measured and analyzed. We found no significant differences for preference for a mirror versus a non-mirror trail, or latency for choice for the mirror. However, a significant effect was found for fighting data, with primed males displaying more aggressive behavior than the males who were not primed. Another significant effect was also found, showing males exposed to fluoxetine had higher latencies for non-mirror trials than those not exposed to fluoxetine. This provides support for the hypothesis that the drug could impact motor movements and decrease arousal.



© Copyright 2018 Susan Greene