Paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
  • Mitchell, C. J., Harris, J. A., Westbrook, R. F., & Griffiths, O. (2008) Changes in cue associability across training in human causal learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 34, 423-436.

    A series of experiments studied the amount learned about two food cues (A and B) whose presentation in a meal was followed by an allergy (+) in a fictitious patient. Participants were trained with A+ and C+ in Phase 1 and then with AB+ or AB++ in Phase 2. Subsequent testing revealed that BC was more allergenic than AD, showing that more had been learned about B than A in Phase 2. Participants were also trained with A+, then with AB+, and finally with AB++. The results of interpolating AB+ between A+ and AB++ training were consistent with the hypothesis that pretraining with Cue A selectively suppressed attention to its associate across the AB+ trials and, thereby, reduced the amount subsequently learned about B on AB++ trials. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.