Michael R Waldmann and Keith J Holyoak (1997)

Determining whether causal order affects cue selection in human contingency learning: Comments on Shanks and Lopez

Memory & Cognition, 25(1):125-134.

Argues that a study reported by D. Shanks and F. Lopez (Memory & Cognition, 1996, Vol 24, 511-522), concluding that causal order does not influence cue selection, fails to meet four essential methodological criteria for testing whether and how causal order influences learning: (1) consistent interpretation by the participants of the learning situation in terms of directed cause-effect relations, (2) measurement of acquired causal knowledge, (3) manipulation of causal order, and (4) control of the statistical relations between cause and effect. It is suggested that several aspects of the reported results are explained by causal model theory but not by associative accounts, and that this study adds to evidence indicating that human contingency learning can indeed be guided by causal interpretation.

Accession Number: 140779; Waldmann, Michael R.; Holyoak, Keith J.; Issue Info: Jan97, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p125; Subject Term: Learning ability – Psychological aspects; Number of Pages: 10p; Illustrations: 1 Diagram; Document Type: Article