Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology





First Advisor

George Fitzelle


Forty-one rats were given ten minutes of exposure to the alley runway apparatus. Eleven subjects were placed in a non-shocked control group. Thirty-one subjects were trained to make an avoidance response in the alley to a criterion. Nineteen rats were divided into two experimental groups depending on their behavior demonstrated under twenty-five minutes of response blocking. Subjects demonstrating relaxed types of behavior were placed in the relaxed group, Subjects not demonstrating relaxed behavior were assigned to the nonrelaxed group. Eight avoidance trained subjects were put in a shocked control group and were not blocked. Later exposure to the apparatus demonstrated that the relaxed experimental group demonstrated more fear of the avoidance area of the alley than the non-shocked control group. The relaxed group also showed less fear than the non-relaxed group. The non-relaxed group showed more fear than the shocked control group. It was concluded that avoidance response blocking can lead to fear reduction. These data provide support for Stampfl’s theory that effective blocking is a function of a reduction of the classically conditioned fear response.



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