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Journal ArticleDOI

Probability of shock in the presence and absence of CS in fear conditioning.

01 Aug 1968-Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology (J Comp Physiol Psychol)-Vol. 66, Iss: 1, pp 1-5

TL;DR: 2 experiments indicate that CS-US contingency is an important determinant of fear conditioning and that presentation of US in the absence of CS interferes with fear conditioning.

Abstract2 experiments indicate that CS-US contingency is an important determinant of fear conditioning and that presentation of US in the absence of CS interferes with fear conditioning. In Experiment 1, equal probability of a shock US in the presence and absence of a tone CS produced no CER suppression to CS; the same probability of US given only during CS produced substantial conditioning. In Experiment 2, which explored 4 different probabilities of US in the presence and absence of CS, amount of conditioning was higher the greater the probability of US during CS and was lower the greater the probability of US in the absence of CS; when the 2 probabilities were equal, no conditioning resulted. Two conceptions of Pavlovian conditioning have been distinguished by Rescorla (1967). The first, and more traditional, notion emphasizes the role of the number of pairings of CS and US in the formation of a CR. The second notion suggests that it is the contingency between CS and US which is important. The notion of contingency differs from that of pairing in that it includes not only what events are paired but also what events are not paired. As used here, contingency refers to the relative probability of occurrence of US in the presence of CS as contrasted with its probability in the absence of CS. The contingency notion suggests that, in fact, conditioning only occurs when these probabilities differ; when the probability of US is higher during CS than at other times, excitatory conditioning occurs; when the probability is lower, inhibitory conditioning results. Notice that the probability of a US can be the same in the absence and presence of CS and yet there can be a fair number of CS-US pairings. It is this that makes it possible to assess the relative importance of pairing and contingency in the development of a CR. Several experiments have pointed to the usefulness of the contingency notion. Rescorla (1966) reported a Pavlovian 1This research was supported by Grants MH13415-01 from the National Institute of Mental Health and GB-6493 from the National Science Foundation, as well as by funds from Yale University.

Topics: Classical conditioning (56%), Conditioning (51%)

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The learned helplessness hypothesis is proposed, which argues that when events are uncontrollable the organism learns that its behavior and outcomes are independent, and that this learning produces the motivational, cognitive, and emotional effects of uncontrollabi lity.
Abstract: \, SUMMARY In 1967, Overmier and Seligman found that dogs exposed to inescapable and unavoidable electric shocks in one situation later failed to learn to escape shock in a different situation where escape was possible. Shortly thereafter Seligman and Maier (1967) demonstrated that this effect was caused by the uncontrollability of the original shocks. In this article we review the effects of exposing organisms to aversive events which they cannot control, and we review the explanations which have been offered. There seem to be motivational, cognitive, and emotional effects of uncontrollability. (a) Motivation. Dogs that have been exposed to inescapable shocks do not subsequently initiate escape response in the presence of shock. We review parallel phenomena in cats, fish, rats, and man. Of particular interest is the discussion of learned helplessness in rats and man. Rats are of interest because learned helplessness has been difficult to demonstrate in rats. However, we show that inescapably shocked rats do fail to learn to escape if the escape task is reasonably difficult. With regard to man, we review a variety of studies using inescapable noise and unsolvable problems as agents which produce learned helplessness effects on both instrumental and cognitive tasks, (b) Cognition. We argue that exposure to uncontrollabl e events interferes with the organism's tendency to perceive contingent relationships between its behavior and outcomes. Here we review a variety of studies showing such a cognitive set. (c) Emotion. We review a variety of experiments which show that uncontrollable aversive events produce greater emotional disruption than do controllable aversive events. We have proposed an explanation for these effects, which we call the learned helplessness hypothesis. It argues that when events are uncontrollable the organism learns that its behavior and outcomes are independent, and that this learning produces the motivational, cognitive, and emotional effects of uncontrollabi lity. We describe the learned helplessness hypothesis and research which supports it. Finally, we describe and discuss in detail alternative hypotheses which have been offered as accounts of the learned helplessness effect. One set of hypotheses argues that organisms learn motor responses during exposure to uncontrollabl e shock that compete with the response required in the test task. Another explanation holds that uncontrollable shock is a severe stressor and depletes a neurochemical necessary for the mediation of movement. We examine the logical structure of these explanations and present a variety of evidence which bears on them directly.

2,065 citations


Book
01 Jan 1997
Abstract: 1. Introduction Usage-based approaches hold that we learn linguistic constructions while engaging in communication, the " interpersonal communicative and cognitive processes that everywhere and always shape language " (Slobin 1997). Constructions are form-meaning mappings, conventionalized in the speech community, and entrenched as language knowledge in the learner's mind. They are the symbolic units of language relating the defining properties of their morphological, syntactic, and lexical form with particular semantic, pragmatic, and discourse 2008). Broadly, Construction Grammar argues that all grammatical phenomena can be understood as learned pairings of form (from morphemes, words, and idioms, to partially lexically filled and fully general phrasal patterns) and their associated semantic or discourse functions. Such beliefs, increasingly influential in the study of child language acquisition, have turned upside down generative assumptions of innate language acquisition devices, the continuity hypothesis, and top-down, rule-governed, processing, bringing back data-driven, emergent accounts of linguistic systematicities. Constructionist theories of child first language acquisition (L1A) use dense longitudinal corpora to chart the emergence of creative linguistic competence from children's analyses of the utterances in their usage history and from their Second language (L2) learners share the goal of understanding language and how it works. Since they achieve this based upon their experience of language usage, there are many Second Language Acquisition p. 1 commonalities between first and second language acquisition that can be understood from corpus analyses of input and from cognitive-and psycho-linguistic analyses of construction acquisition following associative and cognitive principles of learning and categorization. Therefore Usage-based approaches, Cognitive Linguistics, and Corpus Linguistics are increasingly influential in and Ellis 2009), albeit with the twist that since they have previously devoted considerable resources to the estimation of the characteristics of another language-the native tongue in which they have considerable fluency-L2 learners' computations and inductions are often affected by transfer, with L1-tuned expectations and selective attention (Ellis 2006c; Ellis and Sagarra, 2010a) blinding the acquisition system to aspects of the L2 sample, thus biasing their estimation from naturalistic usage and producing the limited attainment that is typical of adult second language acquisition (L2A). Thus L2A is different from L1A in that it involves processes of construction and reconstruction. The organization of the remainder of chapter is as follows. Section 2 provides evidence for the psychological reality of constructions in L2. Section 3 presents a psychological analysis of the effects of form, function, frequency, and contingency that are common to both L1 …

2,008 citations


Cites background from "Probability of shock in the presenc..."

  • ...…mapping is a driving force of all associative learning, to the degree that the field of its study has been known as ‘contingency learning’ since Rescorla (1968) showed that for classical conditioning, if one removed the contingency between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Optimism promises to be one of the important topics of interest to positive social science, as long as it is approached in an even-handed way.
Abstract: Recent theoretical discussions of optimism as an inherent aspect of human nature converge with empirical investigations of optimism as an individual difference to show that optimism can be a highly beneficial psychological characteristic linked to good mood, perseverance, achievement, and physical health. Questions remain about optimism as a research topic and more generally as a societal value. Is the meaning of optimism richer than its current conceptualization in cognitive terms? Are optimism and pessimism mutually exclusive? What is the relationship between optimism and reality, and what are the costs of optimistic beliefs that prove to be wrong? How can optimism be cultivated? How does optimism play itself out across different cultures? Optimism promises to be one of the important topics of interest to positive social science, as long as it is approached in an even-handed way.

1,390 citations


Cites background from "Probability of shock in the presenc..."

  • ...Used in arguments against S-R views of learning were findings that the associations acquired in conditioning are strengthened not by contiguity per se but by contingency: the degree to which stimuli provide new information about responses (Rescorla, 1968). S-R theory stresses only temporal contiguity between the response and the reinforcer, viewing the individual as trapped by the momentary cooccurrences of events. If a response is followed by a reinforcer, it is strengthened even if there is no real (causal) relationship between them. In contrast, the contingency view of learning proposes that individuals are able to detect cause-effect relationships, separating momentary noncausal relationships from more enduring true ones (Wasserman & Miller, 1997). So, learning at its essence entails the discovery of "what leads to what" (Tolman, 1932). Because learning of this sort necessarily extends over time, it is sensible to view it in central (cognitive) terms. Although there is disagreement about the fine detail of these central representations, it is clear that contingency learning is a critically important psychological process linked to subsequent motivation, cognition, and emotion. Most theorists in this tradition have opted to regard the representation of contingency learning as an expectation to explain how it is generalized across situations and projected across time. As explained later, most approaches to optimism as an individual difference adopt this approach, in which optimism is regarded as a generalized expectation that influences any and all psychological processes in which learning is involved. I briefly survey several of the currently popular approaches to optimism as an individual difference. It is no coincidence that each has an associated self-report questionnaire measure that lends itself to efficient research. The correlates of these cognates of optimism have therefore been extensively investigated. Research is uniform in showing that optimism, however it is measured, is linked to desirable characteristics: happiness, perseverance, achievement, and health. Most studies have been cross-sectional, but the demonstrated correlates are usually interpreted as consequences of optimism. Relatively little attention has been paid to the origins of this individual difference and in particular to the distinct possibility that its putative outcomes are alternatively or additionally its determinants. Relatively little attention has been paid to the larger web of belief in which optimism resides (Quine & Ullian, 1978). Further, relatively little attention has been paid to why optimism has such a wide array of correlates. Indeed, optimism is what I call a Velcro construct, to which everything sticks for reasons that are not always obvious. Dispositional optimism. Michael Scheier and Charles Carver (1992) have studied a personality variable ~they identify as dispositional optimism: the global expectation that good things will be plentiful in the future and bad things, scarce. Scheier and Carver's overriding perspective is in terms of how people pursue goals, defined as desirable values. To them, virtually all realms of human activity can be cast in goal terms, and people's behavior entails the identification and adoption of goals and the regulation of actions vis-h-vis these goals. Therefore, they refer 1:o their approach as a self-regulatory model (Carver & Scheier, 1981). Optimism enters into self-regulation when people ask themselves about impediments to achieving the goals they have adopted. In the face of difficulties, do people nonetheless believe that goals can be achieved? If so, they are optimistic: if not, they are pessimistic. Optimism leads to continued efforts to attain the goal, whereas pessimism leads to giving up. Scheier and Carver (1985) measured optimism (vs....

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  • ...Used in arguments against S-R views of learning were findings that the associations acquired in conditioning are strengthened not by contiguity per se but by contingency: the degree to which stimuli provide new information about responses (Rescorla, 1968)....

    [...]

  • ...Used in arguments against S-R views of learning were findings that the associations acquired in conditioning are strengthened not by contiguity per se but by contingency: the degree to which stimuli provide new information about responses (Rescorla, 1968). S-R theory stresses only temporal contiguity between the response and the reinforcer, viewing the individual as trapped by the momentary cooccurrences of events. If a response is followed by a reinforcer, it is strengthened even if there is no real (causal) relationship between them. In contrast, the contingency view of learning proposes that individuals are able to detect cause-effect relationships, separating momentary noncausal relationships from more enduring true ones (Wasserman & Miller, 1997). So, learning at its essence entails the discovery of "what leads to what" (Tolman, 1932). Because learning of this sort necessarily extends over time, it is sensible to view it in central (cognitive) terms. Although there is disagreement about the fine detail of these central representations, it is clear that contingency learning is a critically important psychological process linked to subsequent motivation, cognition, and emotion. Most theorists in this tradition have opted to regard the representation of contingency learning as an expectation to explain how it is generalized across situations and projected across time. As explained later, most approaches to optimism as an individual difference adopt this approach, in which optimism is regarded as a generalized expectation that influences any and all psychological processes in which learning is involved. I briefly survey several of the currently popular approaches to optimism as an individual difference. It is no coincidence that each has an associated self-report questionnaire measure that lends itself to efficient research. The correlates of these cognates of optimism have therefore been extensively investigated. Research is uniform in showing that optimism, however it is measured, is linked to desirable characteristics: happiness, perseverance, achievement, and health. Most studies have been cross-sectional, but the demonstrated correlates are usually interpreted as consequences of optimism. Relatively little attention has been paid to the origins of this individual difference and in particular to the distinct possibility that its putative outcomes are alternatively or additionally its determinants. Relatively little attention has been paid to the larger web of belief in which optimism resides (Quine & Ullian, 1978). Further, relatively little attention has been paid to why optimism has such a wide array of correlates. Indeed, optimism is what I call a Velcro construct, to which everything sticks for reasons that are not always obvious. Dispositional optimism. Michael Scheier and Charles Carver (1992) have studied a personality variable ~they identify as dispositional optimism: the global expectation that good things will be plentiful in the future and bad things, scarce....

    [...]


Book
01 Jan 1977
TL;DR: It now appears possible to identify these circuits, localize the sites of memory storage, and analyze the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory.
Abstract: How the brain codes, stores, and retrieves memories is among the most important and baffling questions in science. The uniqueness of each human being is due largely to the memory store—the biological residue of memory from a lifetime of experience. The cellular basis of this ability to learn can be traced to simpler organisms. In the past generation, understanding of the biological basis of learning and memory has undergone a revolution. It is clear that various forms and aspects of learning and memory involve particular systems, networks, and circuits in the brain, and it now appears possible to identify these circuits, localize the sites of memory storage, and analyze the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory.

1,248 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: SUMMARY How are humans' subjective judgments of contingencies related to objective contingencies? Work in social psychology and human contingency learning predicts that the greater the frequency of desired outcomes, the greater people's judgments of contingency will be. Second, the learned helplessness theory of depression provides both a strong and a weak prediction concerning the linkage between subjective and objective contingencies. According to the strong prediction, depressed individuals should underestimate the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes relative to the objective degree of contingency. According to the weak prediction, depressed individuals merely should judge that there is a smaller degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes than nondepressed individuals should. In addition, the present investigation deduced a new strong prediction from the helplessness theory: Nondepressed individuals should overestimate the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes relative to the objective degree of contingency. In the experiments, depressed and nondepressed students were presented with one of a series of problems varying in the actual degree of contingency. In each problem, subjects estimated the degree of contingency between their responses (pressing or not pressing a button) and an environmental outcome (onset of a green light). Performance on a behavioral task and estimates of the conditional probability of green light onset associated with the two response alternatives provided additional measures for assessing beliefs about contingencies. Depressed students' judgments of contingency were surprisingly accurate in all four experiments. Nondepressed students, on the other hand, overestimated the degree of contingency between their responses and outcomes when noncontingent outcomes were frequent and/or desired and underestimated the degree of contingency when contingent outcomes were undesired. Thus, predictions derived from social psychology concerning the linkage between subjective and objective contingencies were confirmed for nondepressed students but not for depressed students. Further, the predictions of helplessness theory received, at best, minimal support. The learned helplessness and self-serving motivational bias hypotheses are evaluated as explanations of the results. In addition, parallels are drawn between the present results and phenomena in cognitive psychology, social psychology, and animal learning. Finally, implications for cognitive illusions in normal people, appetitive helplessness, judgment of contingency between stimuli, and learning theory are discussed.

1,246 citations


References
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This "truly random" control procedure leads to a new conception of Pavlovian conditioning postulating that the contingency between CS and US, rather than the pairing of CS andUS, is the important event in conditioning.
Abstract: The traditional control procedures for Pavlovian conditioning are examined and each is found wanting. Some procedures introduce nonassociative factors not present in the experimental procedure while others transform the excitatory, experimental CS-US contingency into an inhibitory contingency. An alternative control procedure is suggested in which there is no contingency whatsoever between CS and US. This \"truly random\" control procedure leads to a new conception of Pavlovian conditioning postulating that the contingency between CS and US, rather than the pairing of CS and US, is the important event in conditioning. The fruitfulness of this new conception of Pavlovian conditioning is illustrated by 2 experimental results.

1,282 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Three groups of dogs were Sidman avoidance trained They then received different kinds of Pavlovian fear conditioning For one group CSs and USs occurred randomly and independently; for a second group, CSs predicted the occurrence of USs; for a third group, CSs predicted the absence of the USs The CSs were subsequently presented while S performed the avoidance response CSs which had predicted the occurrence or the absence of USs produced, respectively, increases and decreases in avoidance rate For the group with random CSs and USs in conditioning, the CS had no effect upon avoidance

159 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Rats in an experimental group were given 30 trials of differential CER and then the CS+ and CS− were combined during CER extinction, resulting in less suppression for the experimental group than shown by a control group, interpreted as a demonstration of the active inhibitory properties of CS−.
Abstract: Rats in an experimental group were given 30 trials of differential CER and then the CS+ and CS− were combined during CER extinction. The combination resulted in less suppression for the experimental group than shown by a control group which had a CS+ and a formerly random stimulus combined during extinction. This was interpreted as a demonstration of the active inhibitory properties of CS−.

43 citations


"Probability of shock in the presenc..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Although such an account is plausible for the present data, it fails to explain the active inhibition of fear found by Rescorla and LoLordo (1965), Rescorla (1966), and Hammond (1967)....

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