Psych M.D. - Generalization


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Term: Generalization
Definition (Myers): the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses1
Definition (alternative): Generalization refers to a process within operant and classical conditioning, where a conditioned response (CR) starts occurring in response to the presentation of other, similar stimuli, not just the conditioned stimulus (CS). For example, a dog is trained to sit (CR) when you give the command, "sit" (CS). Soon after that, the dog might sit when you say "hit", "bit", and "kick". In this case, the CR (sitting) is not only done to the CS (the command, "sit") but also to commands that are similar2
Contextual explanation: after a stimulus is conditioned, the tendency to respond to similar stimuli. For example, after the Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to respond to bells, those dogs might also respond to other types of bells, such as those in Figure 3 underneath. Also, if you look at the YouTube clip (Source 4) at 2:17, you can see that the dog can learn to push other doors by its tendency to generalize.
Related terms and concepts:
Psych M.D. - Generalization - The Neuron34
Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers , D.G. (2003). Psychology Seventh Edition . Holland, Michigan : Worth Publishers.
  2. Kaufman, D. (2009). Alleydog.com. Retrieved from http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.cfm?term=Generalization
  3. Schubert, N. (2009). Hand bells. Retrieved from http://www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk/Hand-Bells.htm
  4. Vancouver Island Assistance Dogs (Producer). (2008, December 5) Part 2 of Train Your Dog to Shut Doors using Targeting & the Clicker [education]. Retrieved November 4, 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHCN9TT7Oj4
Edited by: Daniel
Date of last edit: 11/04/09



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