Mark Bouton

University of Vermont

President's Address

Are Lapse and Relapse Inevitable?: Context and Behavioral Processes in Extinction

Extinction is a basic behavioral phenomenon that allows us to adapt to a changing environment. It is also a procedure that can be used in clinical settings to help eliminate maladaptive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. However, basic research indicates that extinction does not destroy the original learning, but instead creates new learning that is highly dependent on the context for retrieval. This talk will discuss some of the implications for understanding lapse, relapse and (perhaps) steps that can be taken to encourage more permanent behavior change.

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