Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw
The presented research addresses the issue of how associative and propositional processes contribute to attitude acquisition through evaluative conditioning. Evaluative conditioning (EC) is defined as a change in the evaluation of a conditioned stimulus (CS) due to its repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus (US) of either positive or negative valence. The features and boundary conditions of EC are currently vividly discusses from two theoretical perspectives: associative and propositional. We present two experiments where two factors were manipulated. First, we varied cognitive resources availability through a secondary task procedure. Second, intentional control was manipulated by verbal instructions either before or after conditioning phase. The results showed that reducing cognitive resources limits but not erases the EC effect. Moreover, we demonstrate that it is partially possible to intentionally control attitude acquisition and expression to some extent, but not to the extent that eliminates the effect of pairing on CS evaluation. We argue that those results are best explained by a two-process model that assumes both associative and propositional mechanisms of evaluative learning.
Keywords: evaluative conditioning, attitude acquisition and change, associative and propositional processes, intentional control, cognitive resources
Cite this article as:
Balas, R., Sweklej, J. (2017). The role of associative and propositional processes in attitude acquisition and expression. Psychologia Społeczna, 41, 142–155. doi: 10.7366/1896180020174103