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Stimulus Characteristics in Food Aversion Learning

  • Marvin Nachman
  • Joan Rauschenberger
  • John H. Ashe

Abstract

One of the more intriguing issues in contemporary learning theory is the idea that stimuli are not equally associable. This idea, that some associations are more easily formed than others, has been formulated in various ways using such concepts as belongingness (Thorndike, 1932; Rozin and Kalat, 1971), stimulus relevance (Capretta, 1961), cue to consequence (Garcia and Koelling, 1966), and preparedness (Seligman, 1970). In food aversion learning, it is clear that animals readily learn to avoid ingesting material which was associated with sickness. (We use the words illness or sickness as arbitrary convenient terms in this chapter, realizing full well that they represent a gross oversimplification. The nature of the UCS is an important problem deserving of more consideration than can be given in this chapter.) The early field studies on bait shyness added poisons to bait and it became evident that animals learned to avoid the specific bait (Chitty, 1954). In subsequent laboratory experiments, the use of solutions permitted the control of other stimulus factors and it was possible to demonstrate that it was primarily the taste rather than any other sensory quality that was avoided (Garcia, Kimeldorf, and Koelling, 1955; Nachman, 1963).

Keywords

Conditioned Stimulus Physiological Psychology Taste Aversion Stimulus Characteristic Taste Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Nachman
    • 1
  • Joan Rauschenberger
    • 1
  • John H. Ashe
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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