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PSYC 2210 (13)
Chapter 8

PSYC2210 Chapter 8 Avoidance and Punishment.doc

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York University
PSYC 2210
Anthony Nield

Chapter 8 Avoidance and PunishmentNegative Reinforcement A behavior strengthening procedure in which an aversive stimulus is removed or omitted if the behavior occurs For example an individual takes a Tylenol and this is followed by the termination of a headache In this case the individual escapes from the pain of the headache by performing some behavior As a result this behavior should be strengthened in the future the next time the person has a headache he is likely to take a Tylenol again The term Negative Reinforcement also includes instances of Avoidance in which a response prevents an unpleasant stimulus aversive stimulus from occurring in the first place For example paying your income tax avoids the unpleasant consequences of failing to do so The term positive indicates that a stimulus is presented if a behavior occurs the term negative indicates that stimulus is removed or avoided entirely if a behavior occursPunishment is a behavior reduction procedure which followed by an unpleasant stimulus Negative Punishment Omission is a behavior in which a pleasant stimulus is removed or omitted if a behavior occurs For example a parent refuses to give a child her usual weekly allowance after the child has performed some undesirable behavior such as staying out too lateAVOIDANCEA representative experimentThe subjects were dogs and their apparatus was a shuttle boxa chamber with two rectangular compartments separated by a barrier several inches highFor the first few trails a typical dogs responses were escape responses that is the dog did not jump over the barrier until the shock has startedAfter a few trails a dog would making avoidance response that is it would start jump over the barrier soon after the light went out and if it jumped in less than 10 seconds it did not receive the shockAvoidance paradox The puzzle about How can the nonoccurrence of an aversive event shock serve as a reinforcer for the avoidance response Explaining escape response the response produced a change in an important stimulus Eg shock changed to no shock when the escape response was madeReinforcement theorists have problems with explaining avoidance responseTwoFactor TheoryTwoFactor theory both of classical conditioning learn to fear a stimulus and operant conditioning escape from the feareliciting stimulus are necessary for avoidance response to occur In Solomon and Wynnes experience the UR to shock is fear and fear plays a critical role in this theory Through classical conditioning this fear response is transfer from the US shock to some CS a stimulus that precedes the shock eg 10 seconds of darkness This conditioning of a fear response to an initially neutral stimulus is the first process of the theoryThe second factor based on operant conditioning is escape from a fearprovoking CS darkness but not the avoidance of shock
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