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Psykhe (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2228

Abstract

DIAZ, Andrea C et al. Stimulus Encoding Strategies in Human Causal Learning. Psykhe [online]. 2009, vol.18, n.2, pp.79-96. ISSN 0718-2228.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22282009000200006.

According to the elemental approach of associative learning, compound stimuli are equivalent to the sum of their components, while for the configurational approach, compounds are indivisible wholes. These approaches are distinguished by the summation test, which examines whether the associative strength of a novel AB compound is higher (elementalism) or equal (configurationalism) than that of its separately trained elements. In the present research, evidence of summation was found when people have no prior experience with AB (Experiment 1), but there was no summation when information about AB was available (Experiment 2). Experiments 3 and 4 do not support the hypothesis that the absence of summation could be due to controlled processing. Theories of flexible coding are analyzed.

Keywords : classical conditioning; causal learning; stimulus coding.

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