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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 ?
When another stimulus appears that shares at least one of those features, the original response may occur as an extended tact-it is extended to the new stimulus based on stimulus generalization.
In conclusion, this study advances the literature on PCIT by addressing a critical but little-researched topic: stimulus generalization of parents' skills.
This is not a case of stimulus generalization in any meaningful sense.
Adaptation level as a factor in human discrimination learning and stimulus generalization.
Although the authors provided anecdotal information indicating that stimulus generalization occurred, documentation of pretreatment and post treatment performance across non-trained stimuli was not provided.
The perspective-taking and stimulus generalization programs were automated, while the response generalization questions were presented by the experimenter to each participant through a conversational context.
Stimulus generalization involves reinforcing verbal communication in the presence of different stimuli, such as new peers, adults, or different environments, such as new situations or settings.
This process of transfer of function and stimulus generalization may explain the negative views towards persons of Middle Eastern descent that have come about since the terrorist attacks on the United States.
Stimulus generalization is said to exist whenever the subject responds in a similar way to various stimuli (Pavlov, 1927; Guttman and Kalish, 1956).
Patterns of stimulus generalization vary with experience.
With this in mind, we point out that the teacher should have at least three objectives for the classroom for academic subjects like reading, all of which influence the teacher to change academic stimuli in very important ways so that stimulus generalization can be achieved.