Avoidance Behavior Can Function as a Negative Occasion Setter

J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2005 Jan;31(1):101-6. doi: 10.1037/0097-7403.31.1.101.

Abstract

The authors put forward the hypothesis that avoidance learning can result from the fact that participants learn (a) that a stimulus is followed by an unconditioned stimulus (US) when the avoidance behavior is not emitted and (b) that the stimulus is not followed by the US when the avoidance behavior is emitted. As such, avoidance behavior is assumed to function as a negative occasion setter. The results of a contingency judgment experiment involving 65 students showed that avoidance behavior indeed has the unique functional properties of a negative occasion setter (resistance to counterconditioning and selective transfer of modulation).

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning*
  • Attention
  • Avoidance Learning*
  • Conditioning, Classical*
  • Cues
  • Electroshock
  • Fear*
  • Generalization, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reversal Learning
  • Set, Psychology