An aversive stimulus is an unpleasant event that is intended to decrease the probability of a behavior when it is presented as a consequence (i.e., punishment). However, an aversive stimulus may also increase the probability of a behavior when it is removed as a consequence, and in this way it will function as negative reinforcement.
Aversive stimuli have been described in learning texts to include stimuli, when used as a consequence will punish a response . They are contrasted with appetitive stimuli that can be used to reinforce responses. While many people consider aversive stimuli as fear and pain-causing events, it is important to realize that an aversive stimulus for one person could be an appetitive stimulus for somebody else. In fact, for the same person in different contexts and at different times, an event could serve as either aversive or appetitive. Examples of aversive stimuli can include...
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Pritchard, J., Chong, I. (2011). Aversive Stimulus. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_265
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