Startbox-goalbox confinement durations as determinants of self-punitive behavior

Christopher L. Cunningham, Judson S. Brown, Seth Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Two levels of confinement duration (5 or 60 sec) in either startbox or goalbox were factorially combined with presence or absence of shock during extinction of a runway escape response in a self-punitive paradigm under a spaced-trials procedure. All groups were equated for amount and temporal spacing of handling before and after each trial. Shocked rats were more resistant to extinction than nonshocked rats only when startbox confinement was short. When startbox confinement was long, shock facilitated extinction. Long goalbox confinement enhanced running speed for shocked rats, but only in the presence of shock. It was suggested that duration of startbox confinement affects strength of conditioned fear, with long confinement leading to its extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-355
Number of pages16
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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