Method and theory in the study of avoidance.

@article{Herrnstein1969MethodAT,
  title={Method and theory in the study of avoidance.},
  author={Richard J. Herrnstein},
  journal={Psychological review},
  year={1969},
  volume={76 1},
  pages={
          49-69
        }
}
  • R. Herrnstein
  • Published 1969
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Psychological review
Two-factor theories of avoidance were conceived to explain responding in avoidance procedures that closely resemble the Pavlovian paradigm in superficial features, although differing in the fundamental contingency of reinforcement. Both typically involve an arbitrary conditioned stimulus and a trial-by-trial sequence of pairings between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. According to two-factor theory, the instrumental reinforcement of avoidance is based on the Pavlovian reinforcement… 

Figures from this paper

Avoided by Association

It is suggested that avoidance tendencies to intrinsically neutral cues may be established by mere Pavlovian association and may help to understand the self-perpetuating nature of pathological fear and anxiety.

Is fear present following sustained asymptotic avoidance responding?

The birth, death and resurrection of avoidance: a reconceptualization of a troubled paradigm

Research on avoidance conditioning began in the late 1930s as a way to use laboratory experiments to better understand uncontrollable fear and anxiety. Avoidance was initially conceived of as a

Probing Stimulus Control in Free-Operant Avoidance

Two probe procedures used were successful in detecting underlying temporal discrimination helping in exteroceptive stimulus control of avoidance responding and both on baseline and on probe sessions stimulus control depended on the modality of the discriminating stimuli.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 60 REFERENCES

Negative reinforcement as shock-frequency reduction.

Responding on an avoidance procedure in which shocks occurred randomly in time, but a response could reduce the overall rate of shock shows that avoidance conditioning can occur without benefit of either classical exteroceptive stimuli or covert stimuli inferred from the temporal constancies of a procedure.

Contiguity vs. drive-reduction in conditioned fear: the proximity and abruptness of drive-reduction.

This study attempts to determine the conditions under which the response of fear becomes attached to an initially neutral stimulus and finds that the conditions of reinforcement are provided by stimulus-contiguity.

The role of temporal discriminations in the reinforcement of Sidman avoidance behavior.

  • D. Anger
  • Psychology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1963
Under some conditions the reinforcement in Sidman avoidance seems to be primarily due to the decrease in aversiveness of temporal stimuli, under other conditions there probably is reinforcement from the termination of conditioned aversive responses.

Some factors involved in the stimulus control of operant behavior.

The stimuli which are present when an operant is reinforced modify the subsequent frequency of emission of the response, and if responses are reinforced at one wavelength and extinguished at all others the gradient is sharpened.

Two-process learning theory: Relationships between Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning.

The evidence from interaction studies shows the strong mediating control of instrumental responses by Pavlovian conditioning procedures, and demonstrates the surprising power of Pavlosian concepts in predicting the outcomes of many kinds of interaction experiments.

THE EFFECT OF A WARNING SIGNAL ON UNRESTRICTED AVOIDANCE BEHAVIOUR

In an avoidance situation where interval responses served to postpone the onset of the next ‘trial’ animals were trained with and without a warning signal. Those animals which received the warning

Relative and absolute strength of response as a function of frequency of reinforcement.

  • R. Herrnstein
  • Psychology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1961
The present experiment is a study of strength of response of pigeons on a concurrent schedule under which they peck at either of two response-keys and investigates output as a function of frequency of reinforcement.

A stimulus-response analysis of anxiety and its role as a reinforcing agent.

Within recent decades an important change has taken place in the scientific view of anxiety (fear), 2 its genesis, and its psychological significance. Writing in 1890, William James (6) stoutly

Reduction of shock frequency as reinforcement for avoidance behavior.

  • M. Sidman
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1962
An avoidance technique was used in which rats had two levers available, with independent shock schedules associated with each, leading to the suggestion that reduction of shock density be considered an important variable in avoidance behavior.

Some limitations on behavioral contrast and induction during successive discrimination.

  • G. S. Reynolds
  • Psychology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1963
The present data suggest that the magnitude of contrast is very small if pecking on the red key is reinforced at a high enough frequency, and given that interactions occur, induction rather than contrast may result from small changes in a low frequency of reinforcement associated with green.
...