Overexpectation in appetitive pavlovian and instrumental conditioning

K. Matthew Lattal, Sadahiko Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


In three experiments that used appetitive preparations with rats, we examined the effects of reinforcing a compound consisting of two previously reinforced stimuli on subsequent responding to those stimuli. Experiment 1 showed that a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus given this treatment evoked fewer magazine entries when presented alone than did a reinforced stimulus that did not receive the compound treatment. Experiment 2 examined inhibition of delay and generalization decrement accounts for the results of Experiment 1. Experiment 3 extended this finding to an instrumental learning paradigm. These results demonstrate overexpectation in appetitive Pavlovian and instrumental paradigms. The implications for current theories of conditioning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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