Interest inventory items as attitude eliciting stimuli in classical conditioning: a test of the A-R-D theory

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1970
Authors
Gross, Michael Carlon
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[Honolulu]
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Abstract
The results of a number of studies suggest that words acquire both attitudinal meaning and instrumental reinforcing properties in accordance with the principles of classical conditioning. On the basis of these findings, as they have been incorporated and extended within a general theory of human motivation, hypotheses have been deduced concerning the stimulus properties of the items comprising interest inventories. Specifically, it has been suggested by Staats that the words comprising the items of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank should function as (1) elicitors of classically conditionable emotional responses; (2) reinforcers for instrumental behaviors; and (3) discriminative stimuli controlling approach and avoidance behaviors. The present investigation was designed to test the hypothesis that interest inventory items are elicitors of classically conditionable emotional responses. A higher-order conditioning procedure was used in which items from the Strong Vocational Interest Blank were employed as UCSs and nonsense syllables as CSs. Items for which the subjects had positive interest, as indicated by a pre-test, were paired with one CS; items of negative interest were paired with a different CS. Analysis of post-conditioning ratings of the syllables indicated that they had acquired the attitudinal component of the interest items with which they had been paired.
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Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii, 1970.
Bibliography: leaves [50]-53.
v, 53 l tables
Keywords
Conditioned response, Attitude (Psychology)
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii (Honolulu)). Educational Psychology; no. 284
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