Evaluative learning theory states that affective learning, the acquisition of likes and dislikes, is qualitatively different from relational learning, the learning of predictive relationships among stimuli. Three experiments tested the prediction derived from evaluative learning theory that relational learning, but not affective learning, is affected by stimulus competition by comparing performance during two conditional stimuli, one trained in a superconditioning procedure and the other in a blocking procedure. Ratings of unconditional stimulus expectancy and electrodermal responses indicated stimulus competition in relational learning. Evidence for stimulus competition in affective learning was provided by verbal ratings of conditional stimulus pleasantness and by measures of blink startle modulation. Taken together, the present experiments demonstrate stimulus competition in relational and affective learning, a result inconsistent with evaluative learning theory. (C) 2001 Academic Press.