DISTRACTION EFFECTS AND STIMULUS GENERALIZATION
MCGILL UNIV MONTREAL (QUEBEC)
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In three different experiments, 84 Ss were trained on a multiplication task under identical stimulus conditions. Then, on the test trials, stimulus change was introduced either in an irrelevant background tone distraction paradigm, in the size of the critical stimulus digits stimulus generalizationparadigm, or in both these aspects at the same time. In all three cases, the decrement in speed of response was found to increase significantly as a function of the degree of stimulus change and to decrease with increasing familiarity with the tet stimuli. Records of changes in skin conductance obtained simultaneously gave roughly corresponding results. The similarity of the findings in the different paradigms suggests an interpretation of both distraction and stimulus generalization phenomena in terms of on set of explanatory concepts, interference from novelty reactions.