ERIC Number: EJ761535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Resistance of Renewal to Instructions that Devalue the Role of Contextual Cues in a Conditioned Suppression Task with Humans
Neumann, David L.
Learning and Motivation, v38 n2 p105-127 May 2007
The renewal of extinguished conditioned behaviour appears to reflect context-dependent learning. The present research used a conditioned suppression task with humans to examine whether instructions concerning the context could influence renewal. Pairings of a conditional stimulus (CS) and unconditional stimulus (US) were made in one context, followed by extinction trials of CS alone in a second context, and test trials of CS alone upon return to the original learning context. Four experiments tested whether the renewal of conditioned suppression observed during test would be attenuated if participants were instructed that the context changes were irrelevant to the predictive relationship between the CS and US. Using a differential conditioning design, no attenuation was found when the instructions were given prior to conditioning (Experiment 1) or immediately prior to the test trials (Experiment 2). The latter result was replicated with a single-cue conditioning design and further controls for exposure to the extinction contexts (Experiment 3). The collection of on-line ratings about the relationship between the contextual changes and the predictive nature of the CS indicated that participants did attend to and believe the instructions (Experiment 4). The results point to the resistance of renewal to explicit instructions that attempt to devalue the role of the contextual cues.
Descriptors: Cues, Conditioning, Experiments, Context Effect, Behavior Modification, Instruction, Behavioral Science Research, Stimuli, Predictor Variables, Ethology, Psychological Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A