Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Animal Behavior

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Allen D. Szalda-Petree

Commitee Members

Wendy Shields, Jerry Smith


Betta splendens, choice, self-control


University of Montana


Self control is defined as choosing a larger, delayed reinforcer over a smaller, more immediate reinforcer with the opposite defined as impulsivity. In general, results from self-control research involving avian and non-primate mammalian subjects have shown a strong to moderate impulsive choice bias whereas studies using adult humans and non-human primates have shown a strong self-control bias. While the non-human self-control literature is rich with studies using select avian and mammalian species, there is very little self-control literature on the choice behaviors of fish or social reward. The present experiment assessed preference in male Betta splendens using an immediate/2 sec mirror access option verses a 15 sec delay/15 sec mirror access option. Results revealed a statistically significant bias for the self-control choice option. The findings are discussed in terms of current theories of choice behavior and are compared to choice preferences in avian and mammalian species.



© Copyright 2008 Christopher Matthew Collins