Learning and Motivation vol:29 issue:4 pages:461-474
Field and Davey (1997) claimed that evaluative conditioning (EC), rather than being a genuine type of Pavlovian associative learning, represents nothing but an experiment artifact. They come to this conclusion by first identifying the prototypical experimental procedure of EC research, by next pointing to the potential methodological shortcomings of this prototypical procedure in order to infer associative learning, and by finally demonstrating that when the appropriate controls are added to this prototypical procedure, it becomes clear that apparent EC results represent nothing but an experimental artifact. In this paper, we first demonstrate that what Field and Davey identify as the "prototypical procedure" is, as a matter of fact, the exception rather than the rule in EC research, such that the potential scope of their criticism is rather limited. Next, we show how the results of their own experiment are actually due to an artifact that is not present in any EC study. Finally, we discuss how Field and Davey's criticism of EC research has its roots in a misconception of the appropriate within or between subject controls for Pavlovian associative learning. (C) 1998 Academic Press.