Master's Theses

Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

A cueing treatment has been conceptualized as a means by which a novel, neutral stimulus (or stimuli) may come to elicit a conditioned response without any explicit pairing of the cue with the unconditioned stimulus. One other procedure which produces a similar result is higher-order conditioning. It is important to determine the relationship between a cueing treatment and higher-order conditioning to determine whether they may be one in the same. That is, is the mechanism underlying what has been called “cueing” the same [as] that underlying higher-order conditioning. The present study utilized rats in a first or second-order conditioning design. The first-order groups were tested to a CS1 or a contextual cue to determine if similar levels of conditioning were attained. Results indicated that a contextual cue can effectively replace a CS1 in first-order conditioning. However, attempts to use a cue In place of a CS1 in second-order conditioning produced mixed results. One pairing of forward second-order conditioning using CS2-CS1 and CS2-cue did not result in significant conditioning to the CS2. Likewise, a backward second-order pairing of CS1-CS2 did not produce conditioning to the CS2. However, by presenting the cue prior to the CS2 (cue-CS2), one pairing did establish significant conditioning to the CS2. This finding suggests that separate mechanisms may be responsible for cueing and second-order conditioning. These findings are discussed in terms of their possible implications for the better understanding of how human phobias develop.

Advisor

Robert Mowrer

Date of Award

Summer 1987

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Rights

© 1987 Kenneth A. McVay

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