Intermittent reinforcement and resistance to extinction

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by reconditioned mind, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. reconditioned mind

    reconditioned mind Fapstronaut

    B.F. Skinner came up with theories on operant conditioning and behavioralism. These concepts have a direct application to pornography addiction. Most people who have taken a psychology course in high school or college have heard of classical conditioning with Pavlov's dogs. The concept of operant conditioning is similar but with more variables and explanations.

    First, lets define some of these terms:

    Reinforcement: This is defined as either a positive reward for a behavior or removing a negative stimuli for a behavior.

    Intermittent: reoccurring in an unfixed, unscheduled manner.

    Extinction: Complete elimination of a behavior.


    This applies directly to pornography addiction. Every time a person looks at porn, they are performing a specific behavior. This is positively reinforced with dopamine via orgasm/arousal. It can also provide negative reinforcement because the person may be avoid negative stimuli (work, stress, etc.) - it provides a form of escape. Based on Skinner's work with operant conditioning, it has been found that "intermittent" reinforcement is the strongest form because it tells the brain to keep pursuing the reward and eventually it will get it. With porn addiction, this is when a person uses porn one week but then stops for 3 days. They then stop for two weeks but then start every day again, it creates an intermittent variable reinforcement schedule.

    It has been found that this "intermittent reinforcement" schedule of behavior is the hardest type of behavior to stop. Combine this with human's vital need for reproduction and the "novelty" of mates that pornography provides and you have a recipe for a disastrous addiction.

    The only way to have complete behavioral extinction is to completely cease the reinforced behavior, no more porn/masturbation period.

    Thanks for reading. I'd be interested in hearing others thoughts, especially those who know about psychology.
  2. Like, Like, Like. Enter the behaviorlists. Skinner had not experienced High Speed Internet Porn. It was before his time. It was a new experiment. We are the subjects.
    Tonytone and reconditioned mind like this.

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