A persistent question in the study of avoidance is how avoidance behavior is maintained, particularly when continued avoidance responding prevents further contact with the aversive stimulus
The distinction between responses elicited by fear and those elicited by an aversive stimulus
This stimulus is traditionally called aversive stimulus
or Unconditioned Stimulus (US) .
In the case of the CMO-R specifically, the conditioned aversive stimulus
is the onset of the very stimulus whose offset would function as a form of conditioned reinforcement.
Even a very mild aversive stimulus
could have a major impact on a person with high sensitivity to punishment.
Positive reinforcement is used whenever a desirable outcome follows an appropriate response, and negative reinforcement is used whenever an aversive stimulus
or state of affairs is removed following an appropriate response.
Thus, a stimulus matched, perhaps quite indirectly, to an aversive stimulus
may itself become aversive (as when being told that 'smoking causes cancer', for example).
Although taste aversions generalize to other foods, mammalian herbivores continue to taste aversive foods in small quantities and readily resume consumption when the aversive stimulus
is reduced or removed (76).
Such considerations may have set the stage for redefining "negative reinforcement" as the strengthening of behavior through the withdrawal of an aversive stimulus
(Keller & Schoenfield, 1950; Skinner, 1953).
This event likely functions as an aversive stimulus
The key to successful counter-conditioning, as this process is called, is to always keep the dog below threshold; you want him a little aware of and worried about the aversive stimulus
, but not quaking in fear or barking and lunging.
In a subsequent work (Huertas-Rodriguez, 1985), it was found that the probability of response with the CS+ word in the presence of the aversive stimulus
was greater when the aversive and neutral character of the stimuli were not crossed during the recall phase, that is, when the shock remained aversive and the tone was neutral.
In such cases, the aversive stimulus
is often referred to as a negatively reinforcing stimulus or negative reinforcer.
The lizard, which displayed a random series of social communicative signals, became an aversive stimulus
Therefore, people assume that manual restraint functions as a positive punisher in its ability (in a given case) to act as an aversive stimulus