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Fear Response

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The conditioning of emotional responses has been a major area of focus by Pavlovian conditioning researchers (Fent and Fanslow 1999; Leaf and Muller 1965). Pavlovian conditioning simply refers to a form of associative learning in which a biologically relevant or unconditioned stimulus (US) is paired with a previously neutral or conditioned stimulus to produce a conditioned response. This area of research preceded studies by Watson and Rayner (1920) who studied infants through the use of Pavlovian or classical conditioning. The researchers conditioned a fear response in a 9-month-old infant named Albert through the use of a white laboratory rat which first served as a neutral stimulus (NS) or unconditioned stimulus. Albert was first exposed to a variety of stimuli, but it appeared that there was hardly anything that he was afraid of. Watson and Rayner found that Albert had a startle response when he heard the noise of the steel bar being hit by a hammer. The loud noise of the hammer...

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Correspondence to Prescilla John .

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John, P. (2017). Fear Response. In: Vonk, J., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer, Cham.

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