Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Luiselli, J. K. 2010. Avoidance Learning. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Avoidance learning occurs when an individual's behavior prevents exposure to an unpleasant consequence. This arrangement, or contingency, is pervasive in everyday life. For example, in writing a mortgage check each month, the homeowner does so not because this behavior is immediately pleasurable, but rather because it avoids conflict with, and possible foreclosure by, a financial lender. Or, consider the motorist who is traveling above the speed limit posted on a highway. On seeing the blinking light of a police vehicle ahead, the driver slows down to avoid a negative encounter with law enforcement. It might be said, in fact, that learning by avoidance is what motivates most people, most of the time.
- negative reinforcement;
- behavior therapy;
- conditioning theory