Avoidance conditioning of verbal behavior without awareness: A paradigm of repression

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Abstract

31 male college students responded to a 15-item word association list receiving an electric shock immediately after 5 arbitrarily selected response words. A number of additional trials were given with shock administered every time as S responded with one of the 5 first-trial punished responses. They were then asked to chain-associate to each of the stimulus words with no shock administered. At the conclusion of the experiment Ss could be classified into insight and non-insight groups on the basis of their levels of verbal awareness as to the reasons for the shocks and what they had done to avoid them. Both groups showed a rapid and marked learning of avoidance behavior and a significant decrement in the number of punished responses occurring during chained associations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). ?? 1956 American Psychological Association.

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Eriksen, C. W., & Kuethe, J. L. (1956). Avoidance conditioning of verbal behavior without awareness: A paradigm of repression. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 53(2), 203–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0096-851X(07)65700-4

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