Learning of paired associates relevant to differentially liked persons

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Independent samples of undergraduates learned to associate the names of public figures (N = 60, Study I), or the names of persons with whom they were very well acquainted (N = 52, Study II), with CVC nonsense syllables (trigrams). In both cases, attitude toward the person whose name was paired with new information made a significant difference in the ease with which the learning took place. Ss made fewest errors in learning relevant to liked persons, most errors in learning relevant to neutrally regarded persons, and an intermediate number of errors in learning relevant to disliked persons. Some evidence was also obtained, in Study II, that the affect evoked by the names of differentially liked persons was conditioned to the trigrams paired with them. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance for the theoretical assumption that differentially liked persons differ systematically in cue and motivational properties. (17 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1970 American Psychological Association.

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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology