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Related to discriminative stimulus: Negative reinforcement, operant conditioning, stimulus generalization, eliciting stimulus


1. any drug, agent, electrical impulse, or other factor able to cause a response in an organism
2. an object or event that is apprehended by the senses
3. Med a former name for stimulant



something that excites to action and motivates behavior. The concept of stimulus is characteristic primarily of those trends in psychology that base behavior analysis on the stimulus-response correlation (classical psychophysics and especially behaviorism, as well as neobehaviorism). The term “stimulus” is also retained in some psychological concepts that in essence supersede the stimulus-response correlation. Thus, for example, in the Würzburg school, a task or an awareness of a goal is considered to be a stimulus. In this case, the term “stimulus” is almost metaphorical. Even further from the term’s original meaning is the treatment it receives in the cultural and historical conceptions of L. S. Vygotskii, who established a functional difference between stimulus objects, at which action is directed, and stimulus means, by which action is accomplished. According to Vygotskii, signs serve as stimulus means.

In sociopsychological studies a distinction is sometimes made between motives as internal excitations and stimuli as external excitations to action (see Chelovek i ego rabota [collection], 1967, pp. 38–39).



(control systems)
A signal that affects the controlled variable in a control system.
An agent that produces a temporary change in physiological activity in an organism or in any of its parts.
References in periodicals archive ?
On a multiple schedule, two schedules are alternately in effect with a discriminative stimulus signaling the current schedule.
D] plus the CEO-R is less "parsimonious" than so plus the CVO in that both formulations postulate the joint action of a discriminative stimulus and a motivational variable.
Idiosyncratic responding occurred across participants, with each student responding to different discriminative stimulus conditions.
pointing to a bottle while presenting the discriminative stimulus "Go pick up the bottle").
When placed in the presence of a discriminative stimulus (i.
Although Pavlovian respondent functions may be neither necessary nor sufficient for the discriminative stimulus functions of the operant [S.
Signal detection theory provides a framework for understanding how properties of the discriminative stimulus (S+), background stimuli, and individual-participant characteristics affect performance on stimulus-discrimination tasks (Green & Swets, 1966).
Whether it was a discriminative stimulus or not will be unknown until future experiments adjust the time.
2014), which indicated that establishing one otherwise abstract stimulus as a discriminative stimulus, governing some other unrelated response, in each training class of five such stimuli made it much more likely that all five would form equivalence classes.
Further, the ideal discriminative stimulus for sharing (i.
Under the conditions of the CMO-T in this study, the sight of the eyes or face of the communicative partner may have served not only as the reinforcer for the eye contact response but also as a discriminative stimulus for the mand response.
the presentation of a compound discriminative stimulus, its absence defines the S--condition).