Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Dolphins can be devious, just like people

CNV00005_14A crafty cetacean called Kelly has learned how to manipulate its keepers to get extra food.

Dolphins in captivity in Mississippi had been trained to retrieve litter from their pool and when they did they got extra food as a reward for each piece.

But Kelly was getting more than her share of rewards compared to the other dolphins. Kelly would retrieve litter but then hide it. When she felt hungry she simply tore off a piece and presented that to receive a reward.

This is similar to what female operatives used to do in a factory I once worked in. When it was coming up to a special event, like getting married, they would hide work they had finished and “bank” it until the week before their wedding. Then they would suddenly produce a bumper output and boost their bonuses.

So do factory workers think like dolphins or are dolphins cuter than we think (in more ways than one).

btw the young dolphin in the picture (not Kelly but one in Cuba) sideswiped me in the pool, where we were swimming with a number of them, and gave me a painful dead-leg. Just being playful or pissed off with tourists? If I’d started drowning would it have rescued me?


Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

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