stimulus


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Related to stimulus: unconditioned stimulus, stimuli

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

Stimulus

 

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).

V. I. MAKSIMENKO

stimulus

[′stim·yə·ləs]
(control systems)
A signal that affects the controlled variable in a control system.
(physiology)
An agent that produces a temporary change in physiological activity in an organism or in any of its parts.
References in classic literature ?
Again I was a man; stronger than ever was the stimulus now, louder than ever the call on every drop of true man's blood in my perishing frame.
This shows how nicely the stimulus required to arouse hybernating animals is governed by the usual climate of the district, and not by the absolute heat.
Their groping efforts to better their condition received strong stimulus also from the ravages of the terrible Black Death, a pestilence which, sweeping off at its first visitation, in 1348, at least half the population, and on two later recurrences only smaller proportions, led to a scarcity of laborers and added strength to their demand for commutation of personal services by money-payments and for higher wages.
He was not a rebuke, but a stimulus, and banished morbidity.
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus and promise to the living.
It had received a further stimulus when Richard Hamel, who had bought an Evening Standard on their way from the theatre a few minutes ago, came across a certain paragraph in it which he read aloud.
These three responses to a sensational stimulus differ, however, in many respects.
We may say, speaking somewhat roughly, that a stimulus applied to the nervous system, like a spark to dynamite, is able to take advantage of the stored energy in unstable equilibrium, and thus to produce movements out of proportion to the proximate cause.
They deny the justice of property, of capital, of inheritance, while I do not deny this chief stimulus.
It was indeed but a passing trance, that only made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the unnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned to my old habits.
The natural strength and firmness of his nature was beginning to assert itself, urged by the double stimulus of resentment against his aunts, and the sense that he must behave like a man and take care of his mother.
NASDAQ: CDNS), Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) and Breker Verification Systems today announced that the three companies have collaborated on a technology contribution to the Accellera Portable Stimulus Working Group.