According to Dollard and Miller (1950), all strong stimuli are drives, which are aversive. Their onset is punishing and their termination or reduction is reinforcing. The effects of psychoactive drugs constitute strong stimuli and therefore they may be expected to be punishing. The first major section of this chapter reviews several types of evidence for the punishing effects of the unconditioned drug stimulus. High doses are physiologically and behaviorally toxic. Repeated administrations give rise to the learned compensatory response of tolerance and to the physical dependence that is manifested by withdrawal illness. Laboratory animals may learn to avoid a conditioned stimulus associated with drug administration.


Conditioned Stimulus Drug Effect Unconditioned Stimulus Discriminative Stimulus Food Reward 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert BarryIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of PharmacyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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