We are grateful to Jason Berger for his invaluable assistance in data collection.
Effects of trial order and differential conditioning on acquisition of differential shock expectancy and skin conductance conditioning to masked stimuli
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2003
Volume 40, Issue 6, pages 989–997, November 2003
How to Cite
Wiens, S., Katkin, E. S. and Öhman, A. (2003), Effects of trial order and differential conditioning on acquisition of differential shock expectancy and skin conductance conditioning to masked stimuli. Psychophysiology, 40: 989–997. doi: 10.1111/1469-8986.00117
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2003
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2003
- (Received December 23, 2002; Accepted June 2, 2003)
- Backward masking;
- Differential conditioning;
- Skin conductance;
- Heartbeat detection;
- Gut feelings;
Research suggests that when people are fear conditioned to masked spiders and snakes (electric shocks are contingent on only spiders or snakes), they acquire a conditional skin conductance response and can predict the occurrence of shocks even though they are unable to identify the masked spiders and snakes. Because in prior studies trial order was not completely random, it is unclear if findings were due to the contingencies from differential conditioning or a restricted trial order or both. When participants were assigned to four groups to disentangle effects of trial order and differential conditioning to masked pictures in acquisition, effects were obtained only for trial order. These findings demonstrate that trial order can result in conditioning. However, because effects were observed even for participants who reported unawareness of the contingency from trial order, results are consistent with the notion of hunches or gut feelings.