Two way active avoidance learning and extinction as a measure of behavioral inhibition and sensitivity to reward among high and low socialized college students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Herbert C. Quay - Committee Chair


The model of brain function proposed by J. A. Gray (1982) was used to generate a series of hypotheses about the response of high and low socialized humans under conditions of competing signals of reward and punishment. A computer simulated human analog of a two-way active avoidance paradigm was developed and administered to 68 college students who had been previously assigned to high and low socialized groups based on their scores on the SO scale of the California Psychological Inventory. Subjects were observed under conditions of either avoidance of punishment alone or avoidance of punishment and presentation of reward. Low socialized subjects failed to avoid punishment under conditions of punishment only at a significantly higher rate than high socialized subjects. There were no differences between the groups when additional signals of reward were added. The failure of a majority of low socialized subjects to learn the task lead to their exclusion from several of the analyses and loss of statistical power on the tests of many of the hypotheses.


Psychology, Clinical

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