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Chapter 9

PSYC 281 Chapter 9: Chapter 09 study questions

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PSYC 281
Russell Powell

1. Distinguish between escape and avoidance behavior, and describe the evolution of these behaviors in a shuttle avoidance procedure. How does Mowrer’s two-process theory account for avoidance behavior? - Escape behaviour is when the behaviour terminates the aversive stimulus - Avoidance behaviour is when the behaviour prevents the aversive stimulus from occurring - One first learns to escape an aversive stimulus and then avoid it, as shown in a shuttle avoidance procedure in which an animal has to run back and forth in a box to avoid an aversive stimulus - According to the two-process theory of avoidance, two processes are involved in learning an avoidance response, the first is classical conditioning of a fear response to a conditioned stimulus then moving away from the conditioned stimulus serves as a negative reinforcer for the response 2. What are two criticisms of Mowrer’s two-process theory of avoidance? How have these criticisms been answered? - One criticism of the two process theory of avoidance is that avoidance responses are often extremely persistent. This has been answered by the anxiety conservation hypothesis which describes that avoidance responses usually occur so quickly that there is insufficient exposure to the CS for the conditioned fear to fully extinguish which is why avoidance responses can be persistent. Extinction will occur eventually however, but only with repeated exposures of the CS without the US - A second criticism is that subjects appeared to show no evidence of fear but continued to make the avoidance responses anyway, but the two-process theory predicts the avoidance response will cease when the fear feeling does. This is answered by the evidence that the fear simply reduces, but not goes away completely, so as long as there is some fear remaining, the response will continue to be emitted 3. In what ways is experimental avoidance conditioning different from human phobic conditioning? According to Stampfl, what is a critical factor in the development and maintenance of phobic behavior that is often missing from experimental demonstrations of avoidance? - Experimental avoidance conditioning is different from human phobic conditioning in that experimental avoidance seems to condition less readily than phobic avoidance in humans - According to Stampfl, the critical factor in the development and maintenance of phobic behaviour is that the individual learns to make the avoidance response early so as to minimize the effort of avoiding, which is often not a factor considered in experimental demonstrations 4. How can the two-process theory of avoidance account for obsessive-compulsive disorder? - For OCD, the obsessions are associated with an increase in anxiety because of a classically conditioned response and the compulsions are associated with a decrease in anxiety because of an operant response that is negatively reinforced by a reduction in anxiety 5. Distinguish between time-out and response cost procedures, and between extrinsic punishment and intrinsic punishment. Give an example of each. - Time-out involves the loss of access to positive reinforcers for a brief period of time following the occurrence of a problem behaviour - A child sits in a corner for a couple minutes for tantruming - Response cost procedures involve the removal of a specific reinforcer following the occurrence of a problem behaviour - A child is not allowed to watch TV for teasing their sibling - Extrinsic punishment is punishment that is not an inherent aspect of the behaviour being punished, but simply follows the behaviour; the activity is followed by a separate event that serves to punish the activity - A child is scolded after coloring on the walls of their room - Intrinsic punishment is punishment that is an inherent aspect of the behaviour being punished; the activity itself is punishing - A child stops playing a sport because they find it too difficult 6. What is the distinction between a primary punisher and a secondary punisher? What is a generalized punisher? Provide clear examples of each. - A primary punisher is an event that is innately punishing; events that are meant to be disliked - Electric shocks do not have to be learned to be punishing - A secondary punisher is an event that has become punishing because it has been associated with some other punisher - A tone that was once followed by a shock becomes a punisher - A generalized punisher is an event that has become punishing because it has been associated with many other punishers - A disapproving stare is punishing because it has been associated with childhood reprimands, workplace reprimands, and spousal arguments 7. Briefly outline the problems listed concerning the use of punishment. - Punishment of maladaptive behaviour doesn’t directly strengthen the occurrence of adaptive behaviour - Punis
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