I don’t like it because it eats sprouts: Conditioning preferences in children

Field, Andy P (2006) I don’t like it because it eats sprouts: Conditioning preferences in children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44 (3). pp. 439-455. ISSN 0005-7967

Download (239kB) | Preview


Although little is known about how preferences develop in childhood, work in adults suggests that evaluative responses to stimuli can be acquired through classical conditioning. In two experiments children were exposed to novel cartoon characters, that were either consistently paired with a picture of a disliked food (Brussels sprouts) or a liked food (ice cream). Relative preferences for these stimuli (and others) were measured before and after these paired presentations (Experiment 1): preferences for the cartoon character paired with Brussels sprouts decreased, whereas preferences for the character paired with ice cream increased. These preferences persisted after 10 un-reinforced trials. Experiment 2 replicated this finding using affective priming as an index of preference for the cartoon characters. These findings demonstrate that preferences to novel stimuli can be conditioned in children and result from associations formed between the stimulus and a stimulus possessing positive or negative valence.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0712 Developmental psychology Including infant psychology, child psychology, adolescence, adulthood
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Andy Field
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2017 23:29
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/723
Google Scholar:16 Citations

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update