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ERIC Number: EJ889631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Dissociations between Expectancy and Performance in Simple and Two-Choice Reaction-Time Tasks: A Test of Associative and Nonassociative Explanations
Barrett, Louise C.; Livesey, Evan J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v36 n4 p864-877 Jul 2010
Perruchet, Cleeremans, and Destrebecqz (2006) reported a striking dissociation between trends in the conscious expectancy of an event and the speed of a response that is cued by that event. They argued that this indicates the operation of independent processes in human associative learning. However, there remains a strong possibility that this dissociation is not a consequence of associative learning and is instead caused by changes in vigilance or sensitivity based on the recency of events on previous trials. Three experiments tested this possibility with versions of a cued reaction time task in which trends in performance could not be explained by these nonassociative factors. Experiment 1 introduced a dual-response version of the task, in which response-related vigilance should be held relatively constant, and Experiments 2 and 3 used a differential conditioning procedure to separate the influence of recent response cue presentation from the recent associative history of the trial events. In all experiments, similar trends in reaction time were evident, suggesting a genuine influence of associative learning on response performance. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the associative contribution to these trends was not caused by commensurate changes in expectancy of the response cue. (Contains 2 tables and 13 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; 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 - Location: Australia