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Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning.
Cogn Emot. 2017 04; 31(3):572-579.CE

Abstract

Vicarious fear learning refers to the acquisition of fear via observation of the fearful responses of others. The present study aims to extend current knowledge by exploring whether second-order vicarious fear learning can be demonstrated in children. That is, whether vicariously learnt fear responses for one stimulus can be elicited in a second stimulus associated with that initial stimulus. Results demonstrated that children's (5-11 years) fear responses for marsupials and caterpillars increased when they were seen with fearful faces compared to no faces. Additionally, the results indicated a second-order effect in which fear-related learning occurred for other animals seen together with the fear-paired animal, even though the animals were never observed with fearful faces themselves. Overall, the findings indicate that for children in this age group vicariously learnt fear-related responses for one stimulus can subsequently be observed for a second stimulus without it being experienced in a fear-related vicarious learning event. These findings may help to explain why some individuals do not recall involvement of a traumatic learning episode in the development of their fear of a specific stimulus.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Psychology , Kingston University , Kingston-upon-Thames , Surrey , UK.b School of Psychology , University of Sussex , Brighton , UK.a Department of Psychology , Kingston University , Kingston-upon-Thames , Surrey , UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26647800

Citation

Reynolds, Gemma, et al. "Learning to Fear a Second-order Stimulus Following Vicarious Learning." Cognition & Emotion, vol. 31, no. 3, 2017, pp. 572-579.
Reynolds G, Field AP, Askew C. Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning. Cogn Emot. 2017;31(3):572-579.
Reynolds, G., Field, A. P., & Askew, C. (2017). Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning. Cognition & Emotion, 31(3), 572-579. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2015.1116978
Reynolds G, Field AP, Askew C. Learning to Fear a Second-order Stimulus Following Vicarious Learning. Cogn Emot. 2017;31(3):572-579. PubMed PMID: 26647800.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Learning to fear a second-order stimulus following vicarious learning. AU - Reynolds,Gemma, AU - Field,Andy P, AU - Askew,Chris, Y1 - 2015/12/09/ PY - 2015/12/10/pubmed PY - 2018/1/2/medline PY - 2015/12/10/entrez KW - Childhood anxiety KW - fear learning KW - observational learning KW - second-order conditioning KW - vicarious learning SP - 572 EP - 579 JF - Cognition & emotion JO - Cogn Emot VL - 31 IS - 3 N2 - Vicarious fear learning refers to the acquisition of fear via observation of the fearful responses of others. The present study aims to extend current knowledge by exploring whether second-order vicarious fear learning can be demonstrated in children. That is, whether vicariously learnt fear responses for one stimulus can be elicited in a second stimulus associated with that initial stimulus. Results demonstrated that children's (5-11 years) fear responses for marsupials and caterpillars increased when they were seen with fearful faces compared to no faces. Additionally, the results indicated a second-order effect in which fear-related learning occurred for other animals seen together with the fear-paired animal, even though the animals were never observed with fearful faces themselves. Overall, the findings indicate that for children in this age group vicariously learnt fear-related responses for one stimulus can subsequently be observed for a second stimulus without it being experienced in a fear-related vicarious learning event. These findings may help to explain why some individuals do not recall involvement of a traumatic learning episode in the development of their fear of a specific stimulus. SN - 1464-0600 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26647800/Learning_to_fear_a_second_order_stimulus_following_vicarious_learning_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2015.1116978 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -