Doing Is for Feeling

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In 2 experiments we show that preferences can be formed by transfer of valence from an unconditioned stimulus (US) to an action and then from this valence-laden action to a novel conditioned stimulus (CS) even though the US and CS were never presented together. This result expands the approach of intersecting regularities (Hughes, De Houwer, & Perugini, 2016) to yet another realm of evaluative learning. In addition, our approach to evaluative learning suggests theoretical links between the formation of preferences due to actions and general research on action control. In summary, we discovered an additional route via which humans may acquire novel preferences and we propose a mental mechanism that may play an important role in the perceptuomotor system that controls many daily life behaviors.

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