Title: Generalization of conditioned responding: Effects of autobiographical memory specificity
Authors: Lenaert, Bert ×
Claes, Stephan
Raes, Filip
Boddez, Yannick
Joos, Els
Vervliet, Bram
Hermans, Dirk #
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd.
Series Title: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry vol:43 issue:supplement 1 pages:S60-S66
Article number: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2010.12.010
Abstract: Generalization of acquired responses appears to be a crucial, yet under investigated process in emotional
disorders. Generalization occurs when a conditioned response is elicited by a stimulus different from the
original conditioned stimulus. The expansion of complaints, often seen in emotional disorders, is at least
in part due to processes of generalization. In the present study, generalization is approached from
a memory perspective. It is hypothesized that generalization of conditioned responding is associated
with autobiographical memory specificity. Higher levels of generalization are predicted for people who
are characterized by limited memory specificity. In a human contingency-learning procedure, participants
learned the association between two pictures of female faces and a schematic drawing of
a lightning bolt. Subsequently, six morphed pictures functioning as generalization stimuli (GSs) were
introduced and conditioned responses to these GSs were measured. The results showed that memory
specificity was significantly associated with the extent of generalization. Participants low in autobiographical
memory specificity exhibited significantly stronger conditioned responses to GSs as compared
to participants high in autobiographical memory specificity.
ISSN: 0005-7916
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology
Research Group Psychiatry
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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