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Unread January 9th, 2005, 11:12 AM
Kelton Sweet Kelton Sweet is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default "signs of damage"

My first post...Hello!

I'm a behavior analyst. I'd like to get opinions on an issue relating to aggression:

It is sometimes said that some behaviors may be reinforced by "signs of damage" (broken objects, broken skin, cries, etc.).

I think that it is clear enough that many of these sorts of consequences are conditioned reinforcers. It is probably also true that these types of consequences serve to reinforce aggressive behavior. However, is there any information about the extent to which this sort of reinforcer may be unconditioned in some cases?...that there is a genetic basis for the reinforcing value of these "signs of damage"?

"Signs of damage", then, could be included in the list of primary (unconditioned) reinforcers in some cases?

As I recall, aggressive behavior can be elicited in lab animals and I assume "signs of damage" have not been the subject of a conditioning process with the animal.

If there are people with a biological condition which sets these "signs" to act as reinforcers, are there psychiatric treatments which can directly impact this sort of condition?

The vast majority of my clients are referred to me due to some sort of penchant for aggression, in a few rare cases, there appears to be a genetic basis for the aggression which occurs due entirely to the reinforcing value of these "signs".

Comments on any aspect of this post are appreciated!
Kelton
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