Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

W. Edgar Gregory

First Committee Member

David K. Bruner

Second Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson


Traditionally, the procedure of feeding an organism in a fear-producting situation has been viewed as having a fear-reducing effect, called counterconditioning. English and English define counterconditioning as the procedure of conditioning a second and conflicting response to a conditioned stimulus that is not simultaneously being reinforced. Fear is reduced by conditioning to the fear-producing stimuli the incompatible emotional responses associated with eating (e.g.--Miller, 1951)

The strength of fear was illustrated by Miller in 1951. He found that albino rats, trained to run down an alley to secure food at a distinctive place and motivated by a 46-hour hunger, would pull with a force of 50 gm. if they were restrained near the food. Studeis done by Faber (1948), Jones (1924) and Wolpe (1952) found that Ss fed in a fear-producing situation were consequently less fearful than Ss not receving food in the situation. In Nelson's second experiement the results suggested that these experiemtns primarily reflected the effects of exposure.

The present experimentis designed to examine the difference in results between the Incentive and the Incentive Control groups, if the conditions are changed. The Ss in the Incentive Control group are forced to spend an amount of time in the two compartments equal to the time spent in each compartment by a matched S in the Incentive conditin, but with food present. The present experiment tried to indicate that at least for the Incentive and the Incentive Control groups the variable of free, as opposed to forced, exposure is a significant factor



Included in

Psychology Commons



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