Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. When operant behavior that has been previously reinforced no longer produces reinforcing psychology for ap myers pdf the behavior gradually stops occurring. In classical conditioning, when a conditioned stimulus is presented alone, so that it no longer predicts the coming of the unconditioned stimulus, conditioned responding gradually stops.
The dominant account of extinction involves associative models. A third account concerns non-associative mechanisms such as habituation, modulation and response fatigue. Myers and Davis laboratory work with fear extinction in rodents has suggested that multiple mechanisms may be at work depending on the timing and circumstances in which the extinction occurs. My first extinction curve showed up by accident. A rat was pressing the lever in an experiment on satiation when the pellet dispenser jammed. I was not there at the time, and when I returned I found a beautiful curve. The rat had gone on pressing although no pellets were received.
The change was more orderly than the extinction of a salivary reflex in Pavlov’s setting, and I was terribly excited. It was a Friday afternoon and there was no one in the laboratory who I could tell. All that weekend I crossed streets with particular care and avoided all unnecessary risks to protect my discovery from loss through my accidental death. When an S-delta is present, the reinforcing consequence which characteristically follows a behavior does not occur. In order for extinction to work effectively, it must be done consistently. An extinction burst will often occur when the extinction procedure has just begun.
Novel behavior, or emotional responses or aggressive behavior, may also occur. Take, as an example, a pigeon that has been reinforced to peck an electronic button. During its training history, every time the pigeon pecked the button, it will have received a small amount of bird seed as a reinforcer. So, whenever the bird is hungry, it will peck the button to receive food. However, if the button were to be turned off, the hungry pigeon will first try pecking the button just as it has in the past.