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Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v92 n2 p161-180 Sep 2009

Increases in rates of punished behavior by the administration of drugs with anxiolytic effects (called antipunishment effects) are well established in animals but not humans. The present study examined antipunishment effects of ethanol in humans using a choice procedure. The behavior of 5 participants was placed under six concurrent variable-interval schedules of monetary reinforcement. In three of the six concurrent schedules, punishment, in the form of monetary loss, was superimposed on one alternative. Data were analyzed according to the generalized matching equation which distinguishes between bias (allocation to behavior beyond what matching to relative reinforcer densities would predict) and sensitivity to reinforcement (how well behavior tracks relative reinforcer densities). In addition, participants completed a pencil-tapping test. Under placebo punishment conditions, all participants demonstrated low response rates and a bias against the alternative associated with punishment, despite a resultant loss of available reinforcers. Bias against the punished alternative was dose-dependently reduced in participants shown to be most sensitive to ethanol (0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 g/kg) in measures of overall responding and on the pencil-tapping test. No ethanol-induced change in bias was noted when punishment was not imposed. Sensitivity to reinforcement also decreased for participants shown to be sensitive to ethanol. In addition to extending antipunishment effects to humans, these results also show that antipunishment effects can be quantified via the matching equation. (Contains 3 tables and 5 figures.)

Descriptors: Punishment, Reinforcement, Drug Use, Behavioral Science Research, Reaction Time, Responses, Bias, Equations (Mathematics), College Students, Stimuli, Males

Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail: jeab[at]indiana.edu; Web site: http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/index.html

Autor: Rasmussen, Erin B.; Newland, M. Christopher

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3436&id=EJ862932


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