Interference between cues of the same outcome depends on the causal interpretation of the events.
Associative learning theories assume that cue interaction and, specifically, retrospective revaluation occur only when the target cue is previously trained in compound with the to-be-revalued cue. However, there are recent demonstrations of retrospective revaluation in the absence of compound training (e.g., Matute & Pineño, 1998a, 1998b). Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to assume that cue interaction should be stronger when the cues are trained together than when they are trained apart. In two experiments with humans, we directly compared compound and elemental training of cues. The results showed that retrospective revaluation in the elemental condition can be as strong as and, sometimes, stronger than that in the compound condition. This suggests that within-compound associations are not necessary for retrospective revaluation to occur and that these effects can possibly be best understood in the framework of general interference theory.