DYNAMICS OF THE ESCAPE RESPONSE.
Technical rept. (Doctoral thesis),
PRINCETON UNIV N J BEHAVIORAL SYSTEMS LAB
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The purpose of this study was to examine the force of escape responses under two levels of aversive heat and with different minimum response force requirements. It has been shown that force is a lawful response measure under positive reinforcement Notterman and Mintz, 1965. Subjects will adjust force emission to reinforcement contingencies, and force is affected by size of reward and level of motivation. Three squirrel monkeys were run under six response force criteria force required for reinforcement 3, 10, 20, 30, 50, and 10 grams, in that order, for 12 days at each criterion. Two levels of aversive heat were alternated daily on an ABBA order. The subject could turn off the aversive heat for 60 seconds by emitting a response above the specified criterion. Response force was recorded for all responses, as well as latency from heat onset to the first response. It was concluded that response force in an escape situation is a lawful response measure, and that it operates in a manner similar to force under positive reinforcement.