Contrasting Acquisition-Focused and Performance-Focused Models of Acquired Behavior

  title={Contrasting Acquisition-Focused and Performance-Focused Models of Acquired Behavior},
  author={Ralph R. Miller and Martha Escobar},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={141 - 145}
What is encoded during a learning experience? In a learning situation, a training (acquisition) phase is often followed by a test phase. Acquisition-focused models (most associative models) emphasize information processing that occurs during training and assume that only summary statistics (associative values) are retained to influence behavior during testing. Performance-focused models (a k a “computational” models) emphasize information processing that occurs at test and often assume fairly… 

Tables from this paper

The propositional nature of human associative learning

It is argued that this new conceptual framework allows many of the important recent advances in associative learning research to be retained, but recast in a model that provides a firmer foundation for both immediate application and future research.

The role of cognition in classical and operant conditioning.

In this article, the data pertaining to the role of higher-order cognition in conditioning is reviewed, and a theoretical synthesis is proposed that provides a role for both automatic and cognitively mediated processes.

Recency and primacy in causal judgments: Effects of probe question and context switch on latent inhibition and extinction

Evidence was obtained to suggest that primacy effects are produced by an interaction between latent inhibition and extinction processes and that requesting a judgment affects both of these processes.

Acquisition of preference in concurrent chains: comparing linear-operator and memory-representational models.

  • R. Grace
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes
  • 2002
Results demonstrated that a simple linear-operator model can account for the major features of preference acquisition in concurrent chains and suggest that choice in transition and steady state may provide convergent validation of a single delay-discounting function.

The role of contextual associations in producing the partial reinforcement acquisition deficit.

Three conditioned suppression experiments with rats as subjects assessed the contributions of the conditioned stimulus (CS)-context and context-unconditioned stimulus (US) associations to the degraded stimulus control by the CS that is observed following partial reinforcement relative to continuous reinforcement training found that the training context must be an effective competitor to produce the partial reinforcement acquisition deficit.

Mitigating cue competition effects in human category learning

These experiments suggest that cue competition effects can be a stubborn roadblock in human category learning.

Comparing associative, statistical, and inferential reasoning accounts of human contingency learning

A comparison of these families of accounts of inferential reasoning will help appreciate the challenges that research on human contingency learning will face over the coming years.

Flexible use of recent information in causal and predictive judgments.

The authors concluded that any model must allow for flexible use of information once it has been acquired, and one or the other effect as a function of response mode, type of question, and postacquisition instructions is shown.

Conditioning and Learning

The empirical laws of Pavlovian conditioning are summarized for situations with two stimuli and for situations with more than two stimuli. Factors considered include stimulus salience, genetic and



A Theory of Attention: Variations in the Associability of Stimuli with Reinforcement

Overshadowing and blocking are better explained by the choice of an appropriate rule for changing a, such that a decreases to stimuli that signal no change from the probability of reinforcement predicted by other stimuli.

Context, time, and memory retrieval in the interference paradigms of Pavlovian learning.

  • M. Bouton
  • Psychology, Biology
    Psychological bulletin
  • 1993
A memory retrieval framework can provide an integrated account of context, time, and performance in the various paradigms of Pavlovian learning by accepting 4 propositions about animal memory.

The comparator hypothesis: A response rule for the expression of associations.

A model for Pavlovian learning: variations in the effectiveness of conditioned but not of unconditioned stimuli.

A new model is proposed that deals with the explanation of cases in which learning does not occur in spite of the fact that the conditioned stimulus is a signal for the reinforcer by specifying that certain procedures cause a conditioned stimulus to lose effectiveness.

Time, rate, and conditioning.

The authors draw together and develop previous timing models for a broad range of conditioning phenomena to reveal their common conceptual foundations: First, conditioning depends on the learning of

A theory of Pavlovian conditioning : Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement

In several recent papers (Rescorla, 1969; Wagner, 1969a, 1969b) we have entertained similar theories of Pavlovian conditioning. The separate statements have in [act differed more in the language of

Handbook of contemporary learning theories

This book presents a meta-anatomy of Reinforcement: The Neurotic Paradox: Attempts by Two-Factor Fear Theory and Alternative Avoidance Models to Resolve the Issues Associated with Sustained Avoidance Responding in Extinction.

Human contingency judgments: rule based or associative?

  • L. Allan
  • Psychology, Business
    Psychological bulletin
  • 1993
The data reveal systematic departures in contingency judgments from the predictions of rule-based models, and indicates that a contiguity model of Pavlovian conditioning is a useful heuristic for conceptualizing human contingency judgments.

Cue Competition in Causality Judgments: The Role of Nonpresentation of Compound Stimulus Elements

Abstract College students rated the causal efficacy of Elements X, A, and B of food compounds AX and BX in producing the allergic reaction of a hypothetical patient. The results of a 16-day allergy

Biological significance in forward and backward blocking: resolution of a discrepancy between animal conditioning and human causal judgment.

The authors found in Experiment 3 that forward blocking also requires the target cue to be of low biological significance, which is a necessary condition for a stimulus to be vulnerable to blocking.