Ch 9 Escape, Avoidance & Punishment

Ch 9 Escape, Avoidance & Punishment - Ch 9 Escape,...

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Ch 9 Escape, Avoidance & Punishment
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Topics Escape and Avoidance Two-Process Theory Avoidance and Phobias Avoidance and OCD Punishment Types Problems Benefits Theories Effects of Non- contingent Punishment Learned Helplessness Masserman’s Experiental Neurosis
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Two Behaviors Are Associated With Negative reinforcement 1. escape behavior - performance of the behavior terminates the aversive stimulus 2. avoidance behavior - performance of the behavior prevents the aversive stimulus from occurring Examples: we run indoors after it has started to rain (escape) we head indoors before it starts to rain (avoidance)
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Shuttle Avoidance Procedure an animal has to shuttle back and forth in a box to avoid an aversive stimulus. Example: A rat in a chamber must climb over a low barrier to stop feeling a shock. This procedure demonstrates that we first learn to escape from an aversive stimulus and then to avoid it.
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Two-Process Theory of Avoidance an early attempt by to explain avoidance behavior (Two-Factor, Herrnstein) It states that two processes are involved in learning an avoidance response: A classical conditioning process An operant conditioning process
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Process 1 classical conditioning of a fear response to a CS. Example: Rat in shuttle avoidance procedure Light: Shock Fear NS US UR Light Fear CS CR
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Process 2 If the CS generates a conditioned fear response, then moving away from the CS should result in a reduction of fear. Reduction of fear is a negative reinforcer. Example: Rat in shuttle avoidance procedure Light: Climb over barrier Reduction in fear S D R S R
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Problem 1 Avoidance responses are often extremely persistent. The two-process theory cannot account for such persistence. Example: Dogs continue to jump a barrier to avoid shock for hundreds of trials even when no shock is presented.
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Response to Problem 1 The Anxiety Conservation Hypothesis states that avoidance responses usually occur so quickly that there is insufficient exposure to the CS for the conditioned fear to fully extinguish. It turns out that avoidance responses are not as persistent as sometimes claimed.
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Problem 2 After repeated avoidance trials, animals appeared to show no evidence of fear but continued to make the avoidance response anyway. If the animals were no longer afraid of the CS, how could avoidance of the CS have been negatively reinforced by a reduction in fear?
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There may become significantly less fearful with experience, there is no evidence that they become completely nonfearful. As long as some fear remains, the avoidance response continues. The fear reduction is still functioning as a
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Ch 9 Escape, Avoidance & Punishment - Ch 9 Escape,...

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