NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ815870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0023-9690
A Comparison of Two Methods of Assessing Representation-Mediated Food Aversions Based on Shock or Illness
Holland, Peter C.
Learning and Motivation, v39 n4 p265-277 Nov 2008
In experiments that measured food consumption, Holland (1981; "Learning and Motivation," 12, 1-18) found that food aversions were formed when an exteroceptive associate of food was paired with illness, but not when such an associate was paired with shock. By contrast, measuring the ability of food to reinforce instrumental responding, Ward-Robinson and Hall (1999; "Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology," 52B, 335-350) found that pairing an associatively activated representation of food with shock readily established an aversion to that food. Two experiments considered the origins of these apparently discrepant results. The results did not support either the possibility that instrumental reinforcement power is a more sensitive measure of aversion learning than consumption, or the hypothesis that illness particularly devalues properties of food representations that determine consumption (such as palatability) whereas shock devalues more general properties critical to reinforcement. The results suggested instead that whereas the effects of pairings of a food associate with illness are mediated by changes in the value of the food itself, the effects of pairings with shock are mediated by the conditioning of fear or other competing responses to the site of food delivery, and not by modification of the value of food itself. (Contains 4 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A