ERIC Number: EJ783403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
When Two Paradigms Meet: Does Evaluative Learning Extinguish in Differential Fear Conditioning?
Blechert, Jens; Michael, Tanja; Williams, S. Lloyd; Purkis, Helena M.; Wilhelm, Frank H.
Learning and Motivation, v39 n1 p58-70 Feb 2008
Contemporary theories of Pavlovian conditioning propose a distinction between signal learning (SL), in which a conditioned stimulus (CS) becomes a predictor for a biologically significant unconditioned stimulus (US), and evaluative learning (EL), in which the valence of the US is transferred to the CS. This distinction is based largely on the different susceptibilities of EL and SL to extinction. This study compared the extinction of indices of EL (online valence ratings) and SL (US-expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses, SCRs) in a differential fear conditioning design using complex CSs. Only half of the participants gave online valence ratings, allowing us to confirm that online valence measurement did not influence SCRs. In line with the distinction between EL and SL, SCRs extinguished rapidly while valence ratings showed resistance to extinction. US-expectancy ratings, however, were not distinguishable from valence ratings indicating that verbal indicators of EL and SL share a similar time course.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Classical Conditioning, Psychophysiology, Fear, Comparative Analysis, Responses, Measurement, Verbal Communication, Learning Processes, Internet
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A