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Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock

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Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock by Seligman and Maier The purpose of this study was to determine the type of learning acquisition in dogs that were subjected to three different styles of electric shock. They wanted to determine what method of learning worked the best to avoid a shock for an extended period of time. Each of the three groups of dogs learned escape/avoidance training, however the "escape" group and the "yoked" group gained more training than the normal control group. The "escape" group was taught during their training that touching the side panels during the shock would terminate it. This was repeated 64 times in the harness and the same training was done 10 more times in the shuttle box, 24 hours later. The "yoked" group received the same training as the "escape" group, however the "escape" group could touch the side panels to end the shock while the "yoked" group was taught the same thing, but touching the panels did not end the shock. In Experiment 1 the "yoked" group might have experienced a concept called learned helplessness. The researchers in this version of the experiment proceed to think that because the "yoked" group couldn't get out of the shocks by touching the side panels, that the group just accepted the fact that the shocks will take place and that they can't do anything about it. In Experiment 2, the experiment was designed to see if the dogs from experiment 1 would react the same to an inescapable shock as they did in experiment 1. The researchers also included dogs that were not exposed to experiment 1, this was done to produce a control group to see what behaviors were exhibited. These behaviors provided validity to the experiment, because the control group did not show enhanced panel pressing unlike the dogs that participated in the first experiment. The researchers found in their studies that the dogs learned "as...

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