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  1. #1

    need info on voltage vs. amps

    A tad of background info.

    I'm creating a psychology experiment to test for anticipatory levels of behavior in aversive operant conditioning.

    Since this is just for school, it is a hypothetical experiment but has to be factual, and while i know plenty about psychology, i don't know squat about electricity and what actually causes pain, etc...

    Basically the experiment calls for a standard experimental chamber with its floor grid connected to a machine that delivers a set shock at a fixed-interval.

    What i need to know is, what amount of voltage/amps would be sufficient to deliver a moderate amount of pain, but not be ridiculously excessive, or to weak to not elicit the proper response.

    Someone in my LS mentioned that amps are what cause pain, not voltage. I don't know much about either or the contrast between the two.

    I tried looking up stuff online and in wiki, but they didn't give information into actual voltage in terms that i can understand.

  2. #2
    pirahna1
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    Stun guns are 50,000 Volts and no more than 1 amp.
    I think Mythbusters said that 20 amps is lethal. It is the amperage that is what kills.

    Wiki entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_shock

    "Psychological

    The perception of electric shock can be different depending on the voltage, duration, current, path taken, frequency, etc. Current entering the hand has a threshold of perception of about 5 to 10 milliamperes (mA) for DC and about 1 to 10 mA for AC at 60 Hz. Shock perception declines with increasing frequency, ultimately disappearing at frequencies above 15-20 kHz."

    Just browse Ampere, Voltage, and Eletric Shock on Wiki for all your needs. I don't know much about electricity either, cept when I touched the negative pin on an electric plug that was partially inserted; make my whole arm feel like it was asleep and all numb and tingly, I thought it was kinda neat

  3. #3
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    Indeed, the amps is what cause the hurt, but volts and amps are still bound together by ohms law.

    If one goes up, so does the other, but resistance can tweak them.

    If you can some how have 500k volts go through you, and only have 1amp at the same time due to a resistance factor, its still comparable to only 50k volts.

    I havent taken an electronic class for over 2 years.. so I may be off.

  4. #4

    I spoke to someone else in my LS who said that 10 milliamps is a good amount to use and 400 volts.

    said that 10 amps would melt metal, and that's not quite the effect i'm looking for.

  5. #5
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    i know from personal experience that volts are what hurt and amps are what cause the severe muscle contractions and the death.

    a good way to test this is to get a disposable camera with a flash and open it up and inside there is a large capacitor that runs the flash. charge the capacitor with the button and when you touch the two connectors with your finger it delivers a jolt of electricity. when i checked the capacitor was rated around 60,000 volts and approx. 0.1 amps (this was a while ago so my memory might be spotty)

  6. #6

    Are you trying to do something like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment ?

    Think of all like water in a tube.

    If you were pumping water through a tube, the pressure supplied by the pump would be the voltage. However the pressure is not the actual water..

    High Voltage is what allows static electricity to do the neat stuff that it does.. like attach a balloon to a curtain or when you touch someone and the charge jumps an inch through the air and hits the other person.

    Ohms is resistance.. Imagine if you take a tube that is 1 inch in diameter and 2 feet long. There is only so much water that can go through that tube, thats its resistance or Ohms. Double the length of that tube or lower its diameter and its resistance increases.

    The resistance of the human body is not measurable.. The distance the energy flows plays a large factor.. The percentage of body fat in the person plays a large factor.. How well hydrated the person is plays a large factor. Is it sweaty skin or dry skin?

    HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD'T BE FUCKING SHOCKING PEOPLE

    VOLTS/OHMS = AMPERES

    Amps are basically the amount of current going through a circuit.. it burns tissues and fibrillates hearts.

    So the current going through the body depends on how much resistance is in their body which you need to have decent equipment to measure it BEFORE you apply the voltage.

    You need to get the math correct and even then the amount of current varies in person to person.. With humans you're dealing with milliamps which are 1/1000th of an amp. 1 amp going through a human would be fatal.. 500mA might cause heart fibrillation. 100mA is pretty painful help me I can't let go of this wire type of shit. 50mA is very painful but you don't loose control of your muscles.

    This is dealing with DC currents.. for wall outlet 60HZ AC power 200mA is fatal with 100mA causing possible heart fibrillation.

    Whats interesting(and I hope this doesn't cause all the shit in that other thread to be rehashed in this one) Police stun guns use 3-4mA.. which make them pretty safe believe it or not. The resistance in the circuity of the gun is high enough that the voltage can be extremely high without sending a lot of current through the body but even then different people receives different amounts of current from the stun gun. The high voltage low current just makes it insanely painful but you don't see burn marks or any crazy injuries.

    Even so.. with preexisting conditions people sometimes die from even small shocks. My advice is to not fucking do it unless you are ok with hurting the person you are shocking.

    I don't know, you say your experiment is hypothetical.. but ya never know these days.

    You're going to make a floor grid connected to a machine that delivers a set shock at a fixed interval..

    Lets say you made the grid kind of large with the scenario of one foot being on one end of the circuit and the other on the other side of the grid.

    Keeping in mind what I said earlier about the length of a circuit being a factor in its resistance.. consider that the "circuit" in this case would be going through the person's feet and along the length of their legs to their haste.

    A person 1 inch taller than another has 2 more inches of length for that current to go and has a higher resistance.. which means that person will feel less..

    What happens when someone gets 1 foot in a manner that it completes the whole circuit? It wont' have to travel far inside of just the foot instead of the whole lower body so the resistance will be much lower and the current will be much higher! OUCH.

    The grid would have to be small enough so that you can almost be certain that the person will be making multiple circuits through each foot and getting shocked in a few places at the same time

    I would build it much like a commercial stun gun.. I would put about 300kV and 4-5mA through it and make the Ohms of the circuit without a person on it be pretty high.. I can't give you an exact number because you have to factor a lot of shit that i'm too tired to do right now.. needless to say this thing will be running off DC current and it will generate a lot of heat if ran too much...

    The idea of running higher than 5mA is out of the question for anything like this, especially when you're looking to cause lots of pain which volts do just fine.

    I would also put the contact points on the grid about 30cm apart which would be perfect and cause the floor to spark and light up when no one was standing on it

  7. #7

    Interesting info.

    This is completely hypothetical, what i'm doing. But alas decades ago before there were ethical standards for testing, experiments involving electrical shocks were, and probably still are in some unsupervised places still going on. If i were making a real experiment this would be out of the question as it is against ethical standards.

    However, since it is hypothetical: What i'm basically trying to prove is that animals have higher levels of intelligence than we give them credit for. No i don't mean an animal is going to come even remotely close to that of a human being, but i do think that animals are capable of more than just regurgitating behaviors that are taught to them on basic operant conditioning principles. My experiment is going to deal with avoidance training both discrimintavely and in a free-operant learning condition.

    In one case i will provide a stimulus 30 seconds prior to the electrical shock and using an EKG machine monitor it's heart rate/pulse to see if it can anticipate the impending shock. And in the other group, my control group i will be administering the shock without any prior stimuli to warn of the shock.

    In both cases the experiment will be running on a FI-5 min schedule with measurements of heart rate taken at 60 second intervals, until the 4th minute when readings will be taken at 4, 4:30, 4:45 and 5 minutes in order to measure whether or not there is a rise in heart rate, and whether or not that rise is taking place closer to the point that the shock is being administered. In the experimental group there will be a light flash 30 seconds before the shock, in the control group there will not be.

    The goal of the experiment is to show that animals, in this hypothetical case dogs, are capable of anticipating an impending aversive consequence both with, and without a cue. If it is the case that they can only anticipate the shock with a warning stimulus then it would show that they are not all that intelligent, as they are getting warned that something bad is about to happen every time, and will make the association, similar to classical conditioning of the us/ur and the cs/cr(fear). If the subjects can anticipate the impending shock without a warning stimulus, it would show that the subjects are capable of anticipating an impending aversive consequence without a warning stimulus, showing a much higher level of intelligence than thought to be the case.

    As it stands dogs are not considered to have episodic memory, which means they cannot remember prior events, nor plan accordingly for future negative events. This would hope to disprove that theory.

    Unfortunately this is hypothetical, as i think that it is a rather interesting experiment if i were actually able to put it together. This is basically an introduction to the paper i'm writing though, the actual one goes into a lot more detail.

  8. #8
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    V = I R

    Voltage = Current x Resistance

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