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Stimulus Control

Description

Stimulus control is a learning phenomenon that is evident in all facets of everyday life. To illustrate, when motorists encounter a red traffic light, they come to a stop. In this example, the red light is the stimulus that controls the behavior of depressing the brake pedal of the vehicle. As another example, when people sit down at a personal computer and detect an icon indicating an e-mail message, they click on it. Here, the icon is the stimulus that controls the behavior of opening the e-mail inbox. When a fire alarm sounds inside a building, people exit rapidly. The alarm is the stimulus that controls the behavior of walking out of the building.

Stimulus control occurs, or is “acquired,” when objects, ...

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