Empirical Evidence For Inhibitory Conditioning Essay examples

1400 Words Nov 12th, 2015 null Page
Their ability to eliminate alternative explanations has made summation and retardation tests the most widely accepted techniques used to demonstrate empirical evidence for inhibitory conditioning. Numerous researchers have used the two-test strategy to demonstrate inhibitory conditioning on an extensive range of subjects including invertebrates, animals and humans. However, many reviews have argued that summation and retardation tests lack control over procedures, allowing alternative interpretations. Consequently, empirical evidence from the techniques for inhibitory conditioning is rare. Nevertheless, strong emphasis remains that with achievement of certain criteria, the two tests can together rule out alternative interpretations thus providing empirical evidence for inhibitory conditioning.

Inhibitory conditioning involves the reinforcement of a stimulus and non-reinforcement of a compound stimulus in which two stimuli are presented together (Cole et al., 1997). Studying the phenomenon now known as classical conditioning, Pavlov’s dogs experiment was the most influential in investigating the process of learning via stimulus-stimulus association (Pavlov, 1927). Subsequent to this experiment, Pavlov (1927) discovered a stimulus could develop into a conditioned inhibitor – a stimulus that diminishes or prevents a conditioned response. In contrast, a stimulus that elicits a conditioned response is referred to as a conditioned excitor. The former, being the…

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