Exploring Positive Classical Conditioning Procedure Effects on Evaluations of Children, Thoughts About Children, and Behaviors Toward Children: Two Experiments
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Exposing parents to a positive classical conditioning (+CC) procedure can (a) prompt positive evaluations of children, (b) alter judgments made about children from their behavior, and (c) reduce harsh behaviors enacted toward children. Two studies explored possible limits of these effects. Results from Study 1 showed that only some +CC effects evinced in prior research emerged when the positive trait words used as the unconditioned stimuli in prior research were replaced with positive emojis. Results from Study 2 showed with positive trait word stimuli that a backward +CC procedure produced many of the same effects produced by the forward +CC procedure. These results collectively support the idea that +CC procedures may simultaneously prompt several different kinds of learning. From a practical perspective, consideration of these various kinds of learning is important to an understanding of when the use of the +CC procedure might reduce child abuse risk.
attributions, backward conditioning, Child abuse prevention, classical conditioning, evaluative learning, misattribution of affect, physical child abuse, semantic learning
Wagner, Michael F.; Skowronski, John J.; Milner, Joel S.; Crouch, Julie L.; and Ammar, Joe, "Exploring Positive Classical Conditioning Procedure Effects on Evaluations of Children, Thoughts About Children, and Behaviors Toward Children: Two Experiments" (2019). NIU Bibliography. 438.
Department of Psychology; Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault