Learned biases in the processing of outcomes: A brief review of the outcome predictability effect

Oren Dennis Griffiths, Evan J. Livesey, Anna Thorwart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Much empirical work and theoretical discussion in the associative learning literature has focused on when and how a cue changes in its associability. A series of new findings in human learning preparations (collectively referred to as the "outcome predictability" effect) appear to show that outcomes vary in their capacity to enter into novel associations as a product of their associative history. This effect is reminiscent of how cues change in associability as a consequence of their reinforcement history. We review the new findings within a broader associative literature that has previously investigated how conditioning can modify the effectiveness of outcome events to motivate new learning. A variety of explanations arising from this review are then critically considered. The article concludes by identifying novel questions brought into focus by the outcome predictability effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Associability
  • Associative learning
  • Attention
  • Outcome
  • Uncertainty

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