A comparison of resistance to satiation and resistance to extinction

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, David E. Myers, T. L. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In two experiments, resistance to satiation was compared with resistance to extinction. In Experiment 1, rats given initial trials in a straight-alley runway while satiated failed to show increased resistance to satiation in a later test phase. This negative finding contrasts with the increased resistance to extinction usually found following initial nonrewarded trials in a straight alley. In Experiment 2, rats were extinguished or were run while satiated following deprived acquisition, and then were either shifted to the other condition or maintained under the same condition. A greater response decrement was produced by extinction than by satiation, both when current performance was examined and when the persistent effect of satiation or extinction on later performance was examined. These results show that there are important dissimilarities in the effects of satiation and extinction, dissimilarities that suggest that extinction is more nonrewarding or aversive than satiation. It seems likely that extinction involves processes (such as frustration, arousal of aversive motivation, and conditioned inhibition) not involved in satiation, which account for the greater response decrement in extinction as compared with satiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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