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Associative Learning and Conditioning TheoryHuman and Non-Human Applications$
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Todd R. Schachtman and Steve S. Reilly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735969

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735969.001.0001

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Learning, Expectancy, and Behavioral Control

Learning, Expectancy, and Behavioral Control

Implications for Drug Abuse

(p.213) Chapter 10 Learning, Expectancy, and Behavioral Control
Associative Learning and Conditioning Theory

Muriel Vogel-Sprott

Mark T. Fillmore

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews research demonstrating that learned expectancies mediate behavior. A drug-taking situation illustrates how associative learning develops drug-related expectancies. Experiments are described to show that manipulating individual expectancies can reveal their causal influence on the intensity of the drug effect and the type of behavioral response to the drug. These results are also related to other evidence that implicates behavioral disinhibition and impulsivity in the risk for drug abuse. Evidence is presented to show how a drug user’s expectancy about the disinhibiting effects of a drug can alter the response to the drug. Taken together, the findings provide new information on how drug-related expectancies affect basic mechanisms of behavioral control, and they offer new insights into how expectancies can mediate the well-known association between disinhibition and risk for drug abuse.

Keywords:   alcohol, learning, expectancy, disinhibition, impulsivity

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