Animal Learning & Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 160–165

Inescapable shock and food-competition dominance in rats

  • Peter M. Rapaport
  • Steven F. Maier

DOI: 10.3758/BF03209595

Cite this article as:
Rapaport, P.M. & Maier, S.F. Animal Learning & Behavior (1978) 6: 160. doi:10.3758/BF03209595


Inescapable electric shock disrupts escape-avoidance learning in another apparatus. This study demonstrates a deficit in a nonlearning task in which no aversive stimulus occurs. In Experiment 1, inescapable shock lowered rats’ dominance in a food-competition situation relative to restrained controls. In Experiment 2, inescapable shock lowered rats dominance in the same food-competition situation relative to a group that received the equivalent amount of escapable shock, demonstrating that the inescapability of the shock caused at least part of the decrement observed in Experiment 1. Experiment 3 does not find that inescapable shock caused a significant difference in food consumed or running time when the rats were tested alone, showing it unlikely that the dominance effects were caused by decreased hunger or reduced running following inescapable shock.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Rapaport
    • 1
  • Steven F. Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulder