Suppression of responding during signaled and unsignaled shock

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Abstract

The empirical basis for M. E. Seligman's (see record 1969-00554-001) safety signal hypothesis derives largely from studies of response suppression during signaled and unsignaled shock and from studies of animals' preference for signaled over unsignaled shock. Recently, the literature on preference for signaled over unsignaled shock received serious criticism, thus weakening the empirical foundations of the safety signal hypothesis. The present article reviews the literature on response suppression to determine if this, too, has been the subject of controversy and criticism. To the contrary, the suppression literature provides strong support for the safety signal hypothesis and also reports data that are compatible with much of the choice literature. This agreement between the 2 tests of the safety signal hypothesis increases confidence in the reliability of the data and the adequacy of the hypothesis. Despite this agreement, emerging data on response suppression during signaled and unsignaled shock suggest that, at best, the safety signal hypothesis emphasizes only one of the many determinants of differential response suppression. (78 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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