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Flashcards in C10 Deck (21):


An instrumental conditioning procedure in which the participant’s behavior prevents the delivery of an aversive stimulus.


Avoidance Trial

A trial in a discriminated avoidance procedure in which an avoidance response is made and prevents the delivery of the aversive stimulus.


Discriminated Avoidance

An avoidance conditioning procedure in which occurrences of the aversive stimulus are signaled by a CS. Responding during the CS terminates the CS and prevents the delivery of the aversive US. Also called signaled avoidance.


Discriminative Punishment

A procedure in which responding is punished in the presence of a particular stimulus and not punished in the absence of that stimulus.


Escape Trial

A trial during discriminated avoidance training in which the required avoidance response is not made and the aversive US is presented. Performance of the instrumental response during the aversive stimulus results in termination of the aversive stimulus. Thus, the organism is able to escape from the aversive stimulus.


Escape From Fear (EFF) Procedure

Situation in which subjects learn an instrumental response to escape from or terminate a conditioned stimulus that elicits fear. Escape from fear is predicted by the two-process theory of avoidance and provides a coping mechanism for individuals suffering from excessive fear.



procedure for extinguishing avoidance behavior in which the CS is presented while the participant is prevented from making the avoidance response.


Non-discriminated Avoidance

An avoidance conditioning procedure in which occurrences of the aversive stimulus are not signaled by an external stimulus. The aversive stimulus is presented periodically, as set by the S–S interval. Each occurrence of the avoidance response creates (or resets) a period of safety determined by the S–R interval during which the aversive stimulus is not presented. Also called free-operant avoidance; originally called Sidman avoidance.


Free Operant Avoidance

Same as non-discriminated avoidance



A procedure for discouraging behavior in which the participant is not only required to correct or rectify a mistake but is also required to go beyond that by, for example, extensively practicing the correct response alternative.


Predatory Imminence

The perceived likelihood of being attacked by a predator. Different species-typical defense responses occur with different degrees of predatory imminence.



An instrumental conditioning procedure in which there is a positive contingency between the instrumental response and an aversive stimulus. If the participant performs the instrumental response, it receives the aversive stimulus; if the participant does not perform the instrumental response, it does not receive the aversive stimulus. Punishment typically suppresses instrumental behavior.


R-S Interval

The interval between the occurrence of an avoidance response and the next scheduled presentation of the aversive stimulus in a nondiscriminated avoidance procedure. Thus, the R–S interval sets the duration of safety created by each avoidance response in a nondiscriminated avoidance procedure.


Response Blocking

Blocking the opportunity to make the avoidance response so that the subject is exposed to a fear stimulus without being able to escape from it. Usually used in connection with flooding.


Safety Signal

A stimulus that signals the absence of an aversive event.


Shock-frequency reduction

A hypothesis according to which reduction in the frequency of shock serves to reinforce avoidance behavior.


Shuttle Avoidance

A type of avoidance conditioning procedure in which the required instrumental response consists of going back and forth (shuttling) between two sides of an experimental apparatus on successive trials.


Species-specific defense reactions (SSDR's)

Species typical responses animals perform in an aversive situation. The responses may involve freezing, fleeing, or fighting.


S-S Interval

The interval between successive presentations of the aversive stimulus in a nondiscriminated avoidance procedure when the avoidance response is not performed.


Time out

period during which the opportunity to obtain positive reinforcement is removed. This may involve removal of the participant from the situation where reinforcers are available.


Two process theory of avoidance

A theory originally developed to explain discriminated avoidance learning that presumes the operation of two mechanisms: classical conditioning of fear to the warning signal or CS and instrumental reinforcement of the avoidance response through termination of the warning signal and consequent fear reduction.