Learned changes in outcome associability

Quigley, Martyn C. and Eatherington, Carla J. and Haselgrove, Mark (2017) Learned changes in outcome associability. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology . ISSN 1747-0226 (In Press)

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Abstract

When a cue reliably predicts an outcome, the associability of that cue will change. Associative theories of learning propose this change will persist even when the same cue is paired with a different outcome. These theories, however, do not extend the same privilege to an outcome; an outcome’s learning history is deemed to have no bearing on subsequent new learning involving that outcome. Two experiments were conducted which sought to investigate this assumption inherent in these theories using a serial letter-prediction task. In both experiments participants were exposed, in Stage 1, to a predictable outcome (‘X’) and an unpredictable outcome (‘Z’). In Stage 2 participants were exposed to the same outcomes preceded by novel cues which were equally predictive of both outcomes. Both experiments revealed that participants’ learning toward the previously predictable outcome was more rapid in Stage 2 than the previously unpredicted outcome. The implications of these results for theories of associative learning are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology on 19 Jun 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17470218.2017.1344258
Keywords: outcome processing, learning, associability, attention, associative Learning
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number: 10.1080/17470218.2017.1344258
Depositing User: Quigley, Martyn
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2017 13:20
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2017 15:01
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/44391

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