Effects of a positive social reward upon a verbal avoidance response

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In investigating the effect of reward upon the acquisition and extinction of avoidance response, a word association task was presented to 90 Ss for 8 conditioning and 12 extinction trials. During conditioning, associations to preselected words were punished on Trial 1 and whenever S repeated them. There were 3 acquisition groups: 1 received the above training, the 2nd also received reward for substitute associations, and the 3rd obtained reward during the 2nd ½ of acquisition only. Each acquisiton group was divided into 2 extinction subgroups: 1 received neither reward nor punishment while the 2nd was rewarded for avoiding. Results indicated that reward hastened acquisition and delayed extinction of avoidance responses, thus confirming hypotheses regarding the concept of secondary gain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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