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Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning

Reynolds, G, Field, AP and Askew, C (2015) Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning Cognition and Emotion. pp. 572-579.

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Abstract

Vicarious fear learning refers to the acquisition of fear via observation of the fearful responses of others. The present study aims to extend current knowledge by exploring whether second-order vicarious fear learning can be demonstrated in children. That is, whether vicariously learnt fear responses for one stimulus can be elicited in a second stimulus associated with that initial stimulus. Results demonstrated that children's (5-11 years) fear responses for marsupials and caterpillars increased when they were seen with fearful faces compared to no faces. Additionally, the results indicated a second-order effect in which fear-related learning occurred for other animals seen together with the fear-paired animal, even though the animals were never observed with fearful faces themselves. Overall, the findings indicate that for children in this age group vicariously learnt fear-related responses for one stimulus can subsequently be observed for a second stimulus without it being experienced in a fear-related vicarious learning event. These findings may help to explain why some individuals do not recall involvement of a traumatic learning episode in the development of their fear of a specific stimulus.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Psychology
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Reynolds, GUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Field, APUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Askew, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 9 December 2015
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2015.1116978
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognition and Emotion on 09 Dec 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2015.1116978
Uncontrolled Keywords : Childhood anxiety, Fear learning, Observational learning, Second-order conditioning, Vicarious learning
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 Nov 2016 10:03
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2017 15:48
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/812808

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