What is it about?

Animal research has shown that when a response stops being followed by an outcome (i.e., when it is extinguished), the underlying associations that maintained that response remain active. The experiment presented here reveals that extinction of human voluntary responding may be an exception to this general rule, a result that is quite relevant from a clinical point of view, as most psychological treatments involve some form of extinction.

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Why is it important?

Our results suggest that psychological procedures focused on the extinction of the eliciting stimulus might be more useful to mitigate or eliminate maladaptive behaviours than psychological treatments focused in extinguishing the maladaptive behaviour itself.

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This page is a summary of: The state of transfer of stimulus control after extinction in human instrumental conditioning: A key factor in therapy strategies based in nonhuman animal research., Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, September 2020, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/cep0000220.
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