Contingency learning is reduced for high conflict stimuli

Peter S. Whitehead, Gene Brewer, Nowed Patwary, Christopher Blais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent theories have proposed that contingency learning occurs independent of control processes. These parallel processing accounts propose that behavioral effects originally thought to be products of control processes are in fact products solely of contingency learning. This view runs contrary to conflict-mediated Hebbian-learning models that posit control and contingency learning are parts of an interactive system. In this study we replicate the contingency learning effect and modify it to further test the veracity of the parallel processing accounts in comparison to conflict-mediated Hebbian-learning models. This is accomplished by manipulating conflict to test for an interaction, or lack thereof, between conflict and contingency learning. The results are consistent with conflict-mediated Hebbian-learning in that the addition of conflict reduces the magnitude of the contingency learning effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Psychologica
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 5 2016


  • Conflict-modulated Hebbian-learning
  • Contingency learning
  • Response conflict
  • Stroop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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