Animal Conditioning and Learning Theory

  • Anthony Dickinson
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


The original premise of behavior therapy was that certain pathological behavior patterns are acquired through conditioning and therefore treatable by controlled and appropriate manipulation of the processes underlying this form of learning. This assumption places conditioning at the theoretical focus of any discussion of abnormal behavior, not only for those who endorse the premise but also for those who wish to challenge it. And for both parties the analysis and treatment of such disorders must be measured against contemporary views of conditioning rather than those current at the genesis or behavior therapy a generation or so ago. This would be of little import if our view of conditioning had remained relatively static; the fact, however, is that conditioning theory has undergone a major revison during the intervening years.


Latent Inhibition Lever Press Pavlovian Conditioning Animal Behavior Process Instrumental Conditioning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, C. D., & Dickinson, A. (1981). Instrumental responding following reinforcer devaluation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 33B, 109–122.Google Scholar
  2. Brewer, W. F. (1974). There is no convincing evidence for operant or classical conditioning in adult humans. In W. B. Weimer & D. S. Palermo (Eds.), Cognition and the symbolic processes, (pp. 1–42). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Colwill, R. C., & Rescorla, R. A. (1985). Postconditioning devaluation of a reinforcer affects instrumental responding. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 11, 120–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dickinson, A. (1980). Contemporary animal learning theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dickinson, A. (1985). Actions and habits: The development of behavioural autonomy. In L. Weiskrantz (Ed.), Animal intelligence, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dickinson, A., & Charnock, D.J. (1985). Contingency effects with maintained instrumental reinforcement. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 37B, 397–416.Google Scholar
  7. Dickinson, A., & Mackintosh, N.J. (1979). Reinforcer specificity in the enhancement of conditioning by posttrial surprise. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 5, 162–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Domjan, M., & Wilson, N. E. (1972). Specificity of cue to consequence in aversion learning in the rat. Psychonomic Science, 26, 83–95.Google Scholar
  9. Gelder, M. (1985). Cognitive therapy. In K. Granville-Grossman (Ed.), Recent advances in clinical psychiatry 5, (pp. 1–21). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  10. Gemberling, G. A., & Domjan, M. (1982). Aversion learning in one-day-old rats: Taste-toxicosis and texture-shock associations. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 96, 105–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hammond, L.J. (1980). The effect of contingency upon appetitive conditioning of free-operant behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 34, 297–304.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hammond, L. J., & Paynter, W. E. Jr. (1983). Probabilistic contingency theories of animal conditioning: A critical analysis. Learning and Motivation, 14, 527–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holland, P. C. (1981). Acquisition of representation-mediated conditioned food aversions. Learning and Motivation, 12, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Holland, P. C. (1984). Differential effects of reinforcement of an inhibitory feature after serial and simultaneous feature negative discrimination training. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 10, 461–475.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kamin, L. J. (1969). Predictability, surprise, attention and conditioning. In B. A. Campbell & R. M. Church (Eds.), Punishment and aversive behavior (pp. 279–296). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  16. Kaye, H., & Pearce, J. M. (1984). The strength of the orientating response during Pavlovian conditioning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 10, 90–109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kimble, G. A. (1961). Hilgard and Marguis’ conditioning and learning. New York: Appleton-Cèntury-Crofts.Google Scholar
  18. Lubow, R. E. (1973). Latent inhibition. Psychological Bulletin, 79, 398–407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mackintosh, N. J. (1973). Stimulus selection: Learning to ignore stimuli that predict no change in reinforcement. In R. A. Hinde & J. Stevenson-Hinde (Eds.), Constraints on learning London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mackintosh, N. J. (1975). A theory of attention: Variations in the associability of stimuli with reinforcement. Psychological Review, 82, 276–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mackintosh, N.J. (1983). Conditioning and associative learning. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mackintosh, N.J., & Dickinson, A. (1979). Instrumental (Type II) conditioning. In A. Dickinson & R. A. Boakes (Eds.), Mechanisms of learning and motivation, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Maier, S. F., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1976). Learned helplessness: Theory and evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 105, 3–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pearce, J. M., & Hall, G. (1978). Overshadowing the instrumental conditioning of a lever press response by a more valid predictor of reinforcement. Journal of Experimental; Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 4, 356–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pearce, J. M. & Hall, G. (1980). A model of Pavlovian learning: Variations in the effectiveness of conditioned but not of unconditioned stimuli. Psychological Review, 87, 532–552.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rescorla, R. A. (1968). Probability of shock in the presence and absence of the CS in fear conditioning. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 66, 1–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rescorla, R. A. (1969). Conditioned inhibition of fear resulting from negative CS-US contirigencies. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 67, 504–509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rescorla, R. A. (1971). Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement following prior inhibitory training. Learning and Motivation, 2, 113–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rescorla, R. A. (1980). Pavlovian second-order conditioning: Studies in associative learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Rescorla, R. A. (1985). Conditioned inhibition and facilitation. In R. R. Miller & N. E. Spear (Eds.), Information processing in animals: Conditioned inhibition Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Rescorla, R. A., & Solomon, R. L. (1967). Two-process learning theory: Relationship between Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning. Psychological Review, 74, 151–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rescorla, R. A., & Wagner, A. R. (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement. In A. H. Black & W. F. Prokasy (Eds.), Classical conditioning II: Current research and theory (pp. 64–99). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  33. Revusky, S.H. (1971). The role of interference in association over a delay. In W. K. Honig & P. H. R. James (Eds.), Animal memory (pp. 155–213). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  34. Revusky, S. H., & Garcia, J. (1970). Learned associations over long delays. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 4, pp. 1–84). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  35. Sheffield, F. D. (1965). Relation between classical conditioning and instrumental learning. In W. F. Prokasy (Ed.), Classical conditioning: A symposium (pp. 302–322). New York: Appleton-Century-Croft.Google Scholar
  36. Shettleworth, S.J. (1975). Reinforcement and the organization of behavior in golden hamsters: Hunger, environment, and food reinforcement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, I, 56–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shettleworth, S.J. (1978). Reinforcement and the organization of behavior in golden hamsters: Punishment of three action patterns. Learning and Motivation, 9, 99–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Testa, T.J. (1974). Causal relationships and the acquisition of avoidance responses. Psychological Review, 81, 491–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tolman, E. C. (1933). Sign-gestalt or conditioned reflex? Psychological Review, 40, 246–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Trapold, M. A., & Overmier, J. B. (1972). The second learning process in instrumental learning. In A. H. Black & W. K. Prokasy (Eds.), Classical conditioning II: Current research and theory (pp. 302–322). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  41. Wagner, A. R. (1978). Expectancies and the priming of STM. In S. H. Hulse, H. Fowler, & W. K. Honig (Eds.), Cognitive processes in animal behavior (pp. 177–209). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  42. Wagner, R. (1981). SOP: A model of automatic memory processing in animal behavior. In N. E. Spear & R. R. Miller (Eds.), Information processing in animals: Memory mechanisms, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  43. Weisman, R. G., & Litner, J. S. (1972). The role of Pavlovian events in avoidance training. In R. A. Boakes & M. S. Halliday (Eds.), Inhibition and learning, (pp. 253–270). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Dickinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations