Effects of conflict on choice behavior of rats

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Conducted 3 experiments with male albino sprague-dawley rats (n = 184) to investigate the effectiveness of conflict (shock plus food) in suppressing bar-pressing behavior so that alternative rewarded unpunished behavior would replace it. Results show that conflict was an effective suppressor when shock was given frequently (50 or 100%), with no delay or short delay (5 sec.), and when the punishment was of moderate or strong intensity (75 or 100 v). However, if shock was infrequent (10%) or long delayed (20 sec.), it produced only partial suppression and incomplete preference for the rewarded alternative response. Conflict, which initially produced learning of the alternate response, also caused rigidity (fixation) which prevented ss from learning another response when conditions were reversed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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