A comparison of the effects of vicariously instigated classical conditioning and direct classical conditioning procedures

  • Avrum I. Silver
  • Tommy S. Greco


Two groups of Ss received either two or 16 paired classical conditioning trials beyond the peak CR. A third group received the same stimuli as in the 16 postpeak condition but in an unpaired and random order. The stimuli in all three groups were delivered directly to S. Subsequently, all three groups, including a fourth which was not given any prior direct classical conditioning, were exposed to vicariously instigated classical conditioning. This consisted of havingS observe someone (model) employed byE who received the same CS as was delivered during direct conditioning. The CS was paired with the feigned arm movement of the model, simulating a reaction to shock. This vicarious classical conditioning procedure when compared to direct classical conditioning resulted in smaller GSR magnitudes for both the CRs and UCRs. Previous experience with direct classical conditioning seems to have had an attenuating effect on GSR magnitude during the vicarious situation. A postexperimental questionnaire tended to support the results, and the relationship between the present study and current classical conditioning theory is discussed.


Conditional Stimulus Conditional Response Classical Conditioning Galvanic Skin Response Acquisition Trial 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avrum I. Silver
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tommy S. Greco
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensGeorgia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPurdue UniversityIndiana

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