|||DE HOUWER, J., & HUGHES, S. (2016). EVALUATIVE CONDITIONING AS A SYMBOLIC PHENOMENON: ON THE RELATION BETWEEN EVALUATIVE CONDITIONING, EVALUATIVE CONDITIONING VIA INSTRUCTIONS, AND PERSUASION. SOCIAL COGNITION, 34, 480-494.||Jan De Houwer||UGENT||2018 03||
Evaluative conditioning (EC) is sometimes portrayed as a primitive way of changing attitudes that is fundamentally different from persuasion via arguments. We provide a new perspective on the nature of EC and its relation to persuasion by exploring the idea that stimulus pairings can function as a symbol that conveys the nature of the relation between stimuli. We put forward the concept of symbolic EC to refer to changes in liking that occur because stimulus pairings function as symbols. The idea of symbolic EC is consistent with at least some current theories of persuasion. It clarifies what EC research can add to the understanding of the origins of our preferences and has implications for how (symbolic and non-symbolic) EC can be established, the boundaries of EC research, and cognitive and functional models of EC.