Evaluative Conditioning from the Perspective of the Associative-Propositional Evaluation Model

Bertram Gawronski*, Galen V. Bodenhausen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Evaluative conditioning (EC) is defined as the change in the evaluation of a conditioned stimulus (CS) due to its pairing with a positive or negative unconditioned stimulus (US). According to the associative-propositional evaluation (APE) model, EC effects can be the result of two functionally distinct learning mechanisms: associative and propositional learning. The current article reviews the core assumptions of the APE model regarding (1) the defining features of associative and propositional learning, (2) the mental representations resulting from the two learning mechanisms, (3) the processes involved in the behavioral expression of these representations, and (4) the automatic versus controlled nature of the processes underlying EC effects. In addition to reviewing the core assumptions of the APE model, the article reviews relevant evidence to illustrate the theory’s main hypotheses, its explanatory and predictive power, as well as empirical challenges for the theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere28024
JournalSocial Psychological Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • associative learning
  • automaticity
  • dual-process theory
  • evaluative conditioning
  • propositional learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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