Converging data from different disciplines are showing the role of classical conditioning processes in the elaboration of human and animal behavior to be larger than previously supposed. Restricted views of classically conditioned responses as merely secretory, reflexive, or emotional are giving way to a broader conception that includes problem-solving, and other rule-governed behavior thought to be the exclusive province of either operant conditiońing or cognitive psychology. These new views have been accompanied by changes in the way conditioning is conducted and evaluated. Data from a number of seemingly unrelated phenomena such as relapse to drug abuse by postaddicts, the placebo effect, and the immune response appear to involve classical conditioning processes. Classical conditioning, moreover, has been found to occur in simpler and simpler organisms and recently even demonstrated in brain slices and in utero. This target article will integrate the several research areas that have used the classical conditioning process as an explanatory model; it will challenge teleological interpretations of the classically conditioned CR and offer some basic principles for testing conditioning in diverse areas.
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