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Summation: further assessment of a configural theory

Pearce, John M., George, David Noel and Aydin, Aydan 2002. Summation: further assessment of a configural theory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. B: Comparative and Physiological Psychology 55 (1) , pp. 61-73. 10.1080/02724990143000171

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Rats received Pavlovian conditioning in which food was signalled by a visual stimulus, A+, an auditory stimulus, B+, and a compound composed of different visual and auditory stimuli, CD+. Test trials were then given with the compound AB. Experiments 1 and 2A revealed stronger responding during AB than during CD. In Experiment 2B, there was no evidence of a summation of responding during AB when A+ B+ training was conducted in the absence of CD+ trials. A further failure to observe abnormally strong responding during ABwas found in Experiment 3 for which the training trials with A+ B+ CD+ were accompanied by trials in which C and D were separately paired with food. The results are explained in terms of a configural theory of conditioning, which assumes that responding during a compound is determined by generalization from its components, as well as from other compounds to which it is similar.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISSN: 0272-4995
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 14:01

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