Affective learning in adults with intellectual disability: an experiment using evaluative conditioning.

TitleAffective learning in adults with intellectual disability: an experiment using evaluative conditioning.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuteursBlanchette, I, Treillet, V, Davies, SR
JournalJ Intellect Disabil Res
Volume60
Issue3
Pagination263-73
Date Published2016 Mar
ISSN1365-2788
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Affect, Conditioning, Psychological, Female, Humans, Intellectual Disability, Learning, Male, Young Adult
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Evaluative conditioning is a form of affective learning in which initially neutral stimuli acquire an affective value through association with negative or positive stimuli. Recent research shows an important role for cognitive resources in this type of learning. This form of affective learning has rarely been studied in intellectual disability (ID).METHOD: We examined evaluative conditioning in 16 adults with mild to moderate ID compared to age- and gender-matched control participants. Neutral shapes and symbols were repeatedly paired with positive, neutral or negative unconditioned stimuli (faces or International Affective Picture System images). There was also an extinction phase.RESULTS: There was significant acquisition of conditioning in both groups. Stimuli paired with positive images were evaluated more positively, and stimuli paired with negative images were evaluated more negatively. Post-extinction ratings however show that these novel affective associations were not maintained by individuals with ID as much as by individuals in the control group.CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that ID modulates some aspects of affective learning but not necessarily initial preference acquisition.

DOI10.1111/jir.12246
Alternate JournalJ Intellect Disabil Res
PubMed ID26677114