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Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas)

versión On-line ISSN 1982-0275


PORTO, Tatiany Honório et al. Effects of exposure to uncontrollable, aversive and appetitive stimuli on verbal behavior under positive reinforcement contingencies. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.3, pp.337-343. ISSN 1982-0275.

Human participants were exposed to a task in which, by constructing sentences, the effects of different stories of uncontrollability were assessed through the loss or acquisition of points in a subsequent exposure to a new learning condition. Initially, subjects could lose or win points regardless of any specific response. Subsequently, they would receive points for constructing any sentence beginning with the pronoun "he". Results show that exposure to uncontrollability can make it difficult to acquire a subsequent learning task. In particular, the effects of the history of exposure to uncontrollable points gains were relatively short-lived, concentrated at the beginning of the learning process and tending to recover throughout the exposure to the new task. On the other hand, the effects of uncontrollability through the loss of points had a detrimental effect on the acquisition of the new task. These results contribute to the study of uncontrollability and learned helplessness, particularly by proposing alternative methods using human verbal responses.

Palabras clave : Verbal behavior; Learned helplessness; Behavioral history; Uncontrollability.

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