Learning and Behavioral Disturbances

One can conceive in all likelihood that, if these dogs which became ill could look back and tell what they had experienced on that occasion, they would not add a single thing to that which one would conjecture about their condition. All would declare that on every one of the occasions mentioned they were put through a difficult test, a hard situation. Some would report that they felt frequently unable to refrain from doing that which was forbidden and then they felt punished for doing it in one way or another, while others would say that they were totally, or just passively, unable to do what they usually had to do.

I. P. Pavlov, Conditioned Reflexes and Psychiatry (1941)

Experimental Neurosis Gantt: Schizokinesis, Autokinesis, and Effect of Person

Schizokinesis Autokinesis Effect of Person Liddell: The Cornell Experiments Masserman: Motivational Conflict Theory of Neurosis Induction of Neurotic Conflict Treatment Procedures Lichtenstein's Experiments Experimental Neurosis and Social Dominance

Frustration and Neurosis: The Theories of Maier and Amsel

Maier's Frustrative Theory of Abnormal

Fixations and Compulsions Amsel's Frustrative Effects: Response Po-tentiation and Persistence Learned Helplessness

Experimental Design and Procedures Results

Immunization and Reversibility Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Conflict and Neurosis

Expectancy: Prediction and Control Locus of Neurotogenesis Locus of Control and Self-Efficacy Defining Insolvable Conflict

Neurosis and the Family Dog References

The studies that are reviewed in this chapter raise serious ethical issues about the treatment of experimental animals. Many of these experiments, as well as others previously cited in this book, obviously caused the animals involved considerable distress and pain. Recent progress in the care and treatment of laboratory animals would make some of these experiments impossible to perform under current rules and ethical constraints. Contemporary experimental psychologists would certainly have a difficult time obtaining formal approval and public funding for the more aversive procedures used by workers in the past investigating experimental neurosis and traumatic aversive learning. Notwithstanding the obvious suffering and sacrifice extracted from the animals used in such study, the information obtained by these studies does provide practical information that may prove beneficial for dogs, both in terms of promoting welfare concerns and saving lives. Although the following accounts may be disturbing for sensitive readers, ignoring such information would only add insult to the already lamentable injury.

Learning proceeds most efficiently under circumstances where relevant events occur in a more or less predictable and controllable manner. Unfortunately, these basic requirements of order are not always satisfied. In severe cases, such shortcomings result in long-term disturbances of behavior and learning. Behavioral disturbances range from compulsive disorders and phobias to generalized anxiety and depression. Abnormal behavior is often observed in dogs as the direct result of dysfunctional learning experiences.

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