Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick J. Kozub

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Blick

Third Advisor

Dr. James L. Tromater


In 1965 Zajonc theorized that the effect of the presence of others was to facilitate the maintenance of a behavior. However, opposite results have been found when rat subjects were tested with shock used as a reinforcer. It was hypothesized that shock elicited aggression interfered with responding, producing performance decrement, rather than facilitation. A wheel-turn Sidman avoidance procedure was used to study maintenance behavior in rats under three levels of social interaction: single subject, two subjects separated by a barrier to prevent shock elicited aggressions (the companion paradigm), and two subjects not separated in the. test chamber (the physical paradigm).

The barrier in the companion paradigm successfully prevented shock elicited aggressions between subjects. However, in regard to response and shock data, no significant differences were found among the three groups, with the exception of a significant F-max with response data. Aposteriori analyses of the last eight days of testing failed to find any significant differences.

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