Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Frederick J. Kozub
Dr. Kenneth Blick
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.
Cofer, John Lewis, "The effects of three levels of social interaction on the maintenance of Sidman avoidance in rats" (1979). Master's Theses. 432.