Social isolation: A parametric study of its effect on social reinforcement

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The length of a social isolation experience was varied in order to determine its effect on the need for social reinforcement. The results indicate that increases in the length of time deprived (left alone in an unfamiliar room) do not result in monotonic increases in the need for social reinforcement. A 2-choice probability problem was used to determine the effectiveness of E's social approval. The results indicate a parabolic relationship with relatively short and long periods of deprivation producing the greatest need. Sex and intelligence differences were also obtained. The significance of these results in terms of a theory of anxiety reduction, reinforcement effectiveness, and binary choice behavior is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1965
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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