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Research Article

Geconditioneerde Inhibitie Van Psychofysiologische Reaches Op Pijnprikkels: Feiten en Speculates

Authors:

Harald Merckelbach ,

Postbus 616 6200 MD Maastricht, NL
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Peter De Jong

Postbus 616 6200 MD Maastricht, NL
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Abstract

[Conditioned Inhibition of Psychophysiological Responses to Painful Stimuli: Facts and Suggestions]

 

The present study is concerned with the phenomenon of unconditioned response (UCR) diminution. Using a single cue conditioning paradigm (N = 50), it was demonstrated that successful conditioning of electrodermal reactions is indexed by both a stronger conditioned response (CR) and a stronger inhibition of the UCR in the conditioning group (paired presentations of warning stimulus and shock) than in the control group (random presentations of warning stimulus and shock). Stronger UCR diminution in the conditioning compared to the control condition was also found for vasomotor reactions. As regards the relationship between fear and conditionability, it was found that subjects scoring high on the Fear Questionnaire (FQ. Marks & Mathews, 1979) gave significantly larger CRs and were relatively better able to inhibit UCRs than subjects scoring low on the FQ. It is argued that conditioned UCR inhibition cannot be attributed to simple habituation or the law of initial values. The phenomenon of UCR diminution presents a theoretical problem for the conditioning model of phobic anxiety: While CRs can be associated with phobic fear. UCR diminution has no clear-cut clinical equivalent. On the other hand, the concept of UCR diminution might be of relevance to research on chronic pain, psychopathy and psychological consequences of drugs.

How to Cite: Merckelbach, H. and De Jong, P., 1988. Geconditioneerde Inhibitie Van Psychofysiologische Reaches Op Pijnprikkels: Feiten en Speculates. Psychologica Belgica, 28(2), pp.139–155. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.782
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Published on 01 Jan 1988.
Peer Reviewed

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