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Additivity Pretraining and Cue Competition Effects: Developmental Evidence for a Reasoning-Based Account of Causal Learning

Simms, Victoria, McCormack, Teresa and Beckers, Tom (2012) Additivity Pretraining and Cue Competition Effects: Developmental Evidence for a Reasoning-Based Account of Causal Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 38 (2). pp. 180-190. [Journal article]

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Abstract

The effect of additivity pretraining on blocking has been taken as evidence for a reasoning account of human and animal causal learning. If inferential reasoning underpins this effect, then developmental differences in the magnitude of this effect in children would be expected. Experiment 1 examined cue competition effects in children’s (4- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 7-year-olds) causal learning using a new paradigm analogous to the food allergy task used in studies of human adult causal learning. Blocking was stronger in the older than the younger children, and additivity pretraining only affected blocking in the older group. Unovershadowing was not affected by age or by pretraining. In experiment 2, levels of blocking were found to be correlated with the ability to answer questions that required children to reason about additivity. Our results support an inferential reasoning explanation of cue competition effects.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Psychology Research Institute > Peace, Conflict and Equality
Psychology Research Institute
ID Code:26126
Deposited By: Dr Victoria Simms
Deposited On:27 May 2013 10:39
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:09

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