Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1987

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Robert Mowrer

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.

Rights

Copyright 1987 Kenneth A. McVay

Comments

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