Extinction is a part of psychological processes. It happens mainly in behaviors that have been either operantly or classically conditioned. In the case of operantly conditioned behavior, the behavior is enforced, but after a certain time, the reinforcing results cease to take place. This is extinction. Again in case of classically conditioned behavior, the results are achieved through a repetition process of a conditioned stimulus. According to Extinction definition psychology, extinction happens when this conditioned response stops happening due to some reason. An example of Pavlov’s dog can be taken into consideration. The dog used to salivate because right after the bell was rung, food appeared. But when, after a certain amount of days, the pattern was changed and no food came with the sound of the bell, it stopped responding to the conditioned stimulus and did not salivate anymore. In many cases, stress and other forms of anxieties may be the reason for the extinction process.
Extinction through accustomedness:
The subject may become used to to the stimulus and hence it may stop responding in the specific manner. This is called extinction through accustomedness or familiarity. When the person keeps on experiencing the conditioned response to a certain stimulus for a long amount of time, the intensity of the experience dies down and he or she becomes familiar with it. This desensitization method is used in medical treatments where the trigger applied first is weak in intensity, but gradually the speed of the stimulus id increased so that at last the patient is left, without any particular sensation.
Extinction through intense occurrence:
Generally extinction happens through ignoring the stimulus that had evoked the conditioned response, but sometimes extinction definition psychology says that a behavior may turn out to be nonexistent not through familiarity with the stimulus or ignoring of it, but if the subject is exposed to an extreme attack of the stimulus. In therapy, this process is used and it is known as flooding. In this case, a stimulus is applied with intensity for a long amount of time and the patient is encouraged to face it in all its extremities. At a certain point, a reversal happens. The stimulus stops working for the subject and extinction happens.
It is best if the extinction method is left to happen naturally. But if an extinction definition psychology process is required to be launched externally, it should be done with utmost care.