Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο Κοινωνικών και Πολιτικών Επιστημών
Ενώ η διαφορική θετική ενίσχυση έχει παρατηρηθεί πως μπορεί να αλλάζει τις κινήσεις των ματιών, οι επιδράσεις της τιμωρίας στα μοτίβα βλεμματικής συμπεριφοράς δεν έχουν ακόμα επαρκώς μελετηθεί. Επιπλέον, οι επικρατούσες θεωρήσεις της τιμωρίας παραβλέπουν ουσιώδεις επιδράσεις της, οι οποίες μπορεί να είναι χρονικά απομακρυσμένες από το τιμωρητικό γεγονός.
Differential positive reinforcement has been observed to alter eye movements, but the effects of punishment on eye movement-patterning have yet to be investigated. Moreover, mainstream theoretical formulations of punishment omit essential effects that may affect behaviors that are temporally distal from the punitive event. One of them is the power of punishment to establish the negative reinforcing potency of stimuli mechanically produced by the punished responses, from which relief may often be obtained in the emission and repetition of action patterns that have not been punished. Stereotypic replication of ‘safe’ action patterns becomes problematic when it is evoked in contexts that demand greater variability levels. In a series of two experiments, the power of punishment to evoke generalized stereotypic visual-motor fixation patterning was examined using eye tracking technology, when such patterning itself was neither punished nor reinforced by experimenter-controlled events. In Experiment 1, in a two-link chain, neurotypical adults initially fixated serially on each of four black dots in any order with no scheduled effect; then they searched for a small white dot that appeared momentarily on one of the four black dots. Correct detection and guesses of the location of the white dot were reinforced with points; errors received no consequences save the initiation of a new trial. In the second phase, second-link detection errors were either punished (experimental group) or not punished (control group) with point loss. While fixation patterning itself was never punished, second-link punishment evoked increased pattern repetition in the first link; baseline variability levels partially recovered with the termination of punishment in Phase 3. This generalized effect of punishment was not observed in Experiment 2, where in the first link, subjects had to produce eye fixation patterns that differed from the last-emitted pattern. Under these conditions, instead of stereotypy, punishment evoked even more variable visual-motor fixation patterning. A context of punishment tends to evoke generalized repetition of recently-emitted, unpunished fixation patterns in humans, even when such topographic stereotypy or variability is not itself functional; this effect may be blocked or reversed with the differential reinforcement of variability. These findings, along with their theoretical formulation of punishment effects, could prove to be helpful in clinical cases where atypical eye-movement patterning is observed, such as in autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.
Διατριβή (διδακτορική) - Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο. Τμήμα Ψυχολογίας, 2023