Backward blocking (BB) and interference between cues (IbC) are cue competition effects produced by very similar manipulations. In a standard BB design, both effects might occur simultaneously, which implies a potential problem for studying BB. In the present study with humans, the magnitude of both effects was compared using a non-causal scenario and a within-subjects design. Previous studies have made this comparison using learning tasks framed within causal scenarios. This posits a limit to generalizing their findings to non-causal learning situations because there is ample evidence showing that participants engage in causal reasoning when tasks are causally framed. The results obtained showed BB and IbC effects of the same magnitude in a non– causally-framed task. This highlights the methodological need for an IbC control in BB experiments.
Luque, David; Morís, Joaquín; Orgaz, Cristina; Cobos, Pedro L.; and Matute, Helena
"Backward Blocking and Interference Between Cues Are Empirically Equivalent in Non–Causally Framed Learning Tasks,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 61
, Article 9.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol61/iss1/9