Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

pp 1179-1181

Evaluative Conditioning


Affective conditioning; Affective learning; Associative transfer of valence; Evaluative learning


Evaluative conditioning is most often defined as an effect rather than as a mental or neural process. As an effect, evaluative conditioning is a change in the valence of a stimulus that is due to the prior pairings of that stimulus with another stimulus (De Houwer 2007). The first stimulus is most often referred to as the conditioned stimulus (CS). The second stimulus is called the unconditioned stimulus (US). Evaluative conditioning is a subset of Pavlovian conditioning. Whereas Pavlovian conditioning can refer to any type of change that results from the pairing of stimuli, evaluative conditioning by definition involves a change in liking. Evaluative conditioning differs from other learned changes in liking (e.g., the mere exposure effect) in that the change in liking is due to the pairing of stimuli rather than other regularities in the environment (e.g. ...

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