Amorous Turkeys and Addicted Ducklings by Howard S. Hoffman

Amorous Turkeys and Addicted Ducklings

The Science of Social Bonding and Imprinting

By Howard S. Hoffman

Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College (d. 2006)

ISBN 0-9623311-7-1
Authors Cooperative Inc. Publishers
P.O. Box 99053
Boston Mass. 02199-0053

This book will be of special interest to persons who have seen the movie FLY AWAY HOME. The movie, based on real events, tells of how a young girl and her father raise a number of abandoned goslings and then, using an ultralight airplane, lead them on their initial migration flight south. In telling its compelling story FLY AWAY HOME demonstrates the powerful and lasting effects of the social bond generated by the behavioral process called "IMPRINTING".

Wouldn't it be interesting to understand how imprinting takes place and to discover the role that imprinting has been found to play in our own lives? By describing the high points of his 15 years of research into imprinting (the work was continuously supported by THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH), Hoffman explains how imprinting works and what this means for how we deal with our children and with each other. He also provides the reader with a first hand account of the real experience of doing research.

Under normal circumstances the first animate object that a newly hatched gosling sees is its mother. Under some circumstances, however, a bird may encounter a person or some other animate object. When this happens the bird will, if conditions are right, become bonded to, or imprinted on, that person or object.

In Hoffman's research the subjects were newly hatched ducklings rather than goslings and rather than imprinting his birds on himself, he imprinted them on a plastic milk bottle mounted over the engine of a toy electric train. He then taught his ducklings to peck at a button in order to get to see the bottle. His book: Amorous Turkeys and Addicted Ducklings provides an account of what his ducklings did in the various experiments that Hoffman and his students arranged for them.

By describing the results of these experiments and relating them to the results of studies in other laboratories, Hoffman makes it clear that the imprinting process is not only basic to the lives of ducks and geese, but that it operates in much the same fashion with many other animals, including humans.

Learn all about Imprinting in these 18 enjoyable chapters:

Foreword by Peter Beckman, Professor of Physics, Bryn Mawr College
Chapter 1. Getting Started
The Tale of the Amorous Turkeys. Extending the Domain of Imprinting. Practical, Mundane Aspects of Research.
Chapter 2. The Early Studies
Imprinting and Reinforcement. Response Patterns.
Chapter 3. Ducklings in Distress
Measuring Distress Calls.
Chapter 4. Response Contingencies in the Domain of Imprinting
Emotional versus Manipulative Distress Calls. Imprinting and Punishment. The Tale of the Acrobatic, Sneezing Rat.
Chapter 5. A conference in England
Chapter 6. Imprinting and Eating
Socially Induced Eating.
Chapter 7. A Critical Period for Imprinting?
Critical Periods During Neurological Development. Some Preparatory Work. Imprinting in Older Birds.
Chapter 8. Imprinting and Learning
A Learning Experiment. Imprinting to a Second Stimulus.
Chapter 9. The Motivational Substrate for Imprinting
Is There an "Intrinsic Need" for an Imprinting Stimulus? Some Efforts at Theory Construction. A Test of Opponent Process Theory. Some Related Pharmacological Studies.
Chapter 10. A Mystery Finally Solved
The Data. Implications for Primates and Humans.
Chapter 11. Aversive Stimulation
The Use of Nonhuman Subjects. The Basic Technique. Some Findings and Their Implications.
Chapter 12. Aggression and Imprinting
A Drive for Aggression?
Chapter 13. Social Interactions in the Context of Imprinting
Chapter 14. A Conference in Holland
Chapter 15. A Term at Cambridge
Some Differences in Emphasis. Imprinting and the Nervous System.
Chapter 16. Some Theoretical Comments
Is Imprinting a Self-limiting process? Exposure Learning versus Classical Conditioning.
Chapter 17. Another Chance Encounter
Chapter 18. A look to the Future

How to Order:

In Association with The Animated Software Company is now a Associate of, so this and other fine books may be purchased through our web page. You may also purchase this book from Authors Cooperative Inc., listed above.

Not affiliated with the Producers of Fly Away Home, which is an excellent movie!

Movie Reviews At This Web Site:
Fly Away Home, Independence Day, Rumble in the Bronx

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First placed online September 29th, 1996.
Last modified MMXIX.
Webwiz: Ace Hoffman
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