Accurately detecting relationships between variables in the environment is an integral part of our cognition. The tendency for people to infer these relationships where there are none has been documented in several different fields of research, including social psychology, fear learning, and placebo effects. A consistent finding in these areas is that people infer these illusory correlations more readily when they involve negative (aversive) outcomes; however, previous research has not tested this idea directly. Four experiments yielded several empirical findings: Valence effects were reliable and robust in a causal learning task with and without monetary outcomes, they were driven by relative rather than absolute gains and losses, and they were not moderated by the magnitude of monetary gains/losses. Several models of contingency learning are discussed and modified in an attempt to explain the findings, although none of the modifications could reasonably explain valence effects.
|Advisor:||Rottman, Benjamin M|
|Commitee:||Nokes-Malach, Timothy, Fiez, Julie, Danks, David|
|School:||University of Pittsburgh|
|Department:||Dietrich School Arts and Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be