UBC Theses and Dissertations
Response rate as a function of shock-food association and shock-response contingency Philipchalk, Ronald Peter
The present study examined the following two hypotheses: (a) shock which has been associated with food will reduce responding less than shock which has not been associated with food: (b) response-contingent shock will reduce responding more than response-noncontingent shock. Response rates and the number of reinforcements received in Punishment training, and response rates in Punishment-Extinction training were examined for the following five groups: (a) shock and pellet for the same response (Pun-Rft Group): (b) shock and food for different responses (Pun Group): (c) response-noncontingent shock delivered automatically as response-contingent food becomes available for the next response (Shock-SD Group): (d) response-noncontingent shock delivered automatically independent of the availability of reinforcement (NC-Shock Group): (e) no shock (Control Group). The results indicated that (a) response-contingent and response-noncontingent shock reduced responding equally in Punishment training, and that (b) following Punishment-training, response-contingent shock reduced responding in Punishment-Extinction training whereas response-noncontingent shock had no effect on rate of responding in Punishment-Extinction training. The results also indicated that shock which had been associated with food had the same overall effect on response rates as shock which had not been associated with food. The relevance of these results to the discriminative and conditioned reinforcing functions of shock was discussed.
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