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Asymmetries in Cue Competition in Forward and Backward Blocking Designs: Further Evidence for Causal Model Theory

Booth, Samantha L. and Buehner, Marc J. 2007. Asymmetries in Cue Competition in Forward and Backward Blocking Designs: Further Evidence for Causal Model Theory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 60 (3) , pp. 387-399. 10.1080/17470210601000839

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Abstract

A hallmark feature of elemental associative learning theories is that multiple cues compete for associative strength when presented with an outcome. Cue competition effects have been observed in humans, both in forward and in backward blocking procedures (e.g., Shanks, 1985) and are often interpreted as evidence for an associative account of human causal learning (e.g., Shanks & Dickinson, 1987). Waldmann and Holyoak (1992), however, demonstrated that cue competition only occurs in predictive, and not diagnostic, learning paradigms. While unexplainable from an associative perspective, this asymmetry readily follows from structural considerations of causal model theory. In this paper, we show that causal models determine the extent of cue competition not only in forward but also in backward blocking designs. Implications for associative and inferential accounts of causal learning are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3271

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