Essay on Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock

661 Words Nov 24th, 2012 3 Pages
Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock by Seligman and Maier The purpose of this study was to determine the type of learning acquisition in dogs that were subjected to three different styles of electric shock. They wanted to determine what method of learning worked the best to avoid a shock for an extended period of time. Each of the three groups of dogs learned escape/avoidance training, however the "escape" group and the "yoked" group gained more training than the normal control group. The "escape" group was taught during their training that touching the side panels during the shock would terminate it. This was repeated 64 times in the harness and the same training was done 10 more times in the shuttle box, 24 hours later. The "yoked" …show more content…
That quote provides that the dog learned that the way they tried to escape was separate of the shock ending. This shows that if the dogs were just staying in the box without trying to escape, then the researchers can conclude that the dogs learned and the experiment was a success. Or in a different light, extinction might have occurred and the dogs did not respond because they did not know how to respond to the experiment. I found interesting that the dogs that learned to push the sides in Experiment 1 did not have the lowest time of escaping. However they had no subjects fail after 10 attempts. They were the only group to do that and that was very interesting. Another thing I found interesting was that even after being shown 64 times what the dogs could do to escape they still did not have a perfect escape method. This confused me because I would have thought that if you were to be taught 64 times how to escape, especially with a shock administered, that one would find a way to escape quickly every time, no matter what the circumstances. This almost correlates with the "Fight or Flight" method that if you are triggered into a situation where that mode is triggered then an individual would do anything to get out of that stressful scenario. I would have thought that the dogs would have triggered this mechanism and the results would have been lower in all the categories. If i could ask the research team two questions one would be, What type of dog was used

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