Chapter

Application of Associative Learning Paradigms to Clinically Relevant Individual Differences in Cognitive Processing

Teresa A. Treat, John K. Kruschke, Richard J. Viken and Richard M. McFall

in Associative Learning and Conditioning Theory

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735969
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735969.003.0121
Application of Associative Learning Paradigms to Clinically Relevant Individual Differences in Cognitive Processing

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This chapter presents efforts to examine clinically relevant individual differences in category learning with complex, socially relevant stimuli, highlighting the generalizability of cognitive scientists’ models and paradigms for the investigation of normative learning processes with simple, artificial stimuli. The chapter documents the substantial influence of individual variability in perceived dimensional salience on category learning, which extends the well-established link between normative perceived salience and category learning. It also appears that the complex, socially relevant stimuli of interest to some clinical researchers may be processed in a more holistic fashion than the artificial stimuli of primary interest to cognitive researchers, which typically are processed more separably. More integral processing may diminish the role of attention-shifting mechanisms in clinically relevant category learning, suggesting the importance of future research on the enhancement of attention shifting. More generally, this chapter illustrates the utility of translating associative-learning paradigms to address applied questions about clinically and socially relevant processing of complex stimuli.

Keywords: individual differences; sexual aggression; social perception; social perception; disordered eating; sexual aggression; category learning

Chapter.  13423 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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