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ERIC Number: EJ815251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Fear Relevancy, Strategy Use, and Probabilistic Learning of Cue-Outcome Associations
Thomas, Laura A.; LaBar, Kevin S.
Learning & Memory, v15 n10 p777-784 Oct 2008
The goal of this study was to determine how the fear relevancy of outcomes during probabilistic classification learning affects behavior and strategy use. Novel variants of the "weather prediction" task were created, in which cue cards predicted either looming fearful or neutral outcomes in a between-groups design. Strategy use was examined by goodness-of-fit estimates of response patterns across trial blocks to mathematical models of simple, complex, and nonidentifiable strategies. Participants in the emotional condition who were fearful of the outcomes had greater skin conductance responses compared with controls and performed worse, used suboptimal strategies, and had less insight into the predictive cue features during initial learning. In contrast, nonfearful participants in the emotional condition used more optimal strategies than the other groups by the end of the two training days. Results have implications for understanding how individual differences in fear relevancy alter the impact of emotion on feedback-based learning. (Contains 4 figures and 2 tables.)
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 500 Sunnyside Boulevard, Woodbury, NY 11797-2924. Tel: 800-843-4388; Tel: 516-367-8800; Fax: 516-422-4097; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beck Depression Inventory