Comparison of various flooding procedures in reducing fear and in extinguishing jump-up avoidance responding
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Two experiments examined the effectiveness of three variations in flooding techniques on hastening extinction of a jump-up avoidance response (Experiment 1) and on reducing fear (Experiment 2) as assessed by the multivariate fear-assessment techniques of Corriveau and Smith (1978). Traditional flooding involved blocking the subject’s response by making the safety ledge unavailable; barrier flooding involved inserting a Plexiglas barrier in front of the safety ledge to make it inaccessible and moving the wall periodically during treatment; no-barrier flooding involved allowing subjects to jump onto the ledge periodically but, if they did so, immediately dumping them back onto the grids. In both experiments, all three flooding treatments were found to be more effective than a home cage treatment, although the no-barrier procedure was significantly more effective than the other two. In addition, activity measures revealed interesting and significant group differences in the patterns of activity shown during treatment.
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