When all is still concealed: Are we closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying evaluative conditioning?

Consciousness and Cognition 10 (4):559-566 (2001)
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Fulcher and Hammerl's (2001) important exploration of the role of contingency awareness in evaluative conditioning (EC) raises a lot of issues for discussion: (1) what boundaries, if any, exist between EC and affective learning paradigms?; (2) if EC does occur without awareness does this mean it is nonpropositional learning?; (3) is EC driven by stimulus-response (S-R), rather than stimulus-stimulus (S-S), associations and if so should it then surprise us that contingency awareness is not important?; and (4) if S-R associations are at the heart of EC, should we automatically assume EC is part of a different learning mechanism to autonomic Pavlovian conditioning (Field, 2000a, 2000b)? This article, after a critical review of Fulcher and Hammerl's work, discusses these issues with reference to what can be realistically inferred about the mechanisms underlying EC.



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