Evidence for the role of cognitive resources in flavour-flavour evaluative conditioning

Sarah R. Davies, Wael El-Deredy, Elizabeth H. Zandstra, Isabelle Blanchette

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    One way that dis/likes are formed is through evaluative conditioning (EC). In two experiments we investigated the role of cognitive resources in flavour-flavour conditioning. Both experiments employed an EC procedure in which three novel flavoured conditioned stimuli (CSs) were consumed. One was consumed with a pleasant unconditioned stimulus (US; CS+ sugar), one with an aversive US (CS+ saline), and a third with plain water (CS-). Half of participants in each experiment performed a cognitive load task during conditioning. We measured EC using self-reported measures of liking (Experiments 1 and 2) and an indirect measure of liking: drink pick-up latency (Experiment 2). In both experiments, differential EC was observed in the no cognitive load condition but not in the cognitive load condition. This pattern of results was observed in self-reported measures of liking as well as in the drink pick-up latency data. Results from both experiments show that EC occurs only when there are sufficient cognitive resources available. The fact that this was observed using both self-reported and indirect measures suggests that insufficient cognitive resources affect learning itself rather than merely obstructing reporting. © 2012 Copyright The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2297-2308
    Number of pages11
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


    • Cognitive resources
    • Evaluative conditioning
    • Flavour-flavour learning


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