It is apparent from the data of recent experiments concerned with the extinction of the conditioned eyelid response in human subjects that the decrement in response strength that occurs during extinction is dependent upon a number of factors other than some negative effect (inhibition) resulting directly from the successive nonreinforced trials. In the standard conditioning experiment as heretofore conducted with humans, the response decrement during extinction has been shown to be primarily a function of factors relating to the subject's capability of discriminating the change in stimulus conditions with shift from acquisition to extinction. Our results with a new masking situation in which the conditioning experiment is imbedded in a probability learning task indicates that when these cognitive factors are controlled (eliminated) and drive level is maintained, extinction of the eyelid response in humans proceeds at a relatively slow rate just as it does in animals. The results also suggest that under these conditions there is no partial reinforcement effect. (Author)
20 JUN 1965
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