The propositional basis of cue-controlled reward seeking
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Taylor & Francis
Copyright © 2015 Routledge
Reason for embargo
Two experiments examined the role of propositional and automatic (ideomotor) processes in cue elicited responding for rewarding outcomes (beer and chocolate). In a training phase, participants earned either chocolate or beer points by making one of two button-press responses. Rewards were indicated by the presentation of chocolate and beer pictures. On test, each trial began with a picture of beer or chocolate, or a blank screen, and choice of the beer versus chocolate response was assessed in the presence of these three pictures. Participants tended to choose the beer and chocolate response in the presence of the beer and chocolate pictures, respectively. In Experiment 1, instructions signalling that the pictures did not indicate which response would be rewarded significantly reduced the priming effect. In Experiment 2, instructions indicating that the pictures signified which response would not be rewarded resulted in a reversed priming effect. Finally, in both experiments, the priming effect correlated with self-reported beliefs that the cues signalled which response was more likely to be reinforced. These results suggest that cue elicited response selection is mediated by a propositional belief regarding the efficacy of the response-outcome relationship, rather than an automatic ideomotor mechanism.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology on 23 November 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17470218.2015.1115885
Vol. 69 (12), pp. 2452-2470