Instinctive drift

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Instinctive drift or instinctual drift is the tendency of an animal to revert to instinctive behaviors that interfere with a conditioned response. The concept originated with B.F. Skinner's former students Keller Breland and Marian Breland when they tried to teach a raccoon to put tokens into a piggy bank. Instead, the raccoon drifted to its instinctive behavior of putting the tokens on the ground or turning them over in its paws, as they often do with food.[1][2]


  1. ^ Green, C.D. Classics in the History of Psychology: The Misbehavior of Organisms. York University. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Lavin, M. J. Brelands and instinctual drift. St. Bonaventure University. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.