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Generalization

Description of the Strategy

Generalization occurs when behavior in one environment changes by virtue of reinforcement contingencies imposed on that behavior in a second environment that has stimuli in common with the first. As a laboratory example, if pecking a green disk by a pigeon is followed by food, pecking will also increase somewhat if the disk becomes blue or yellow. Pecking the blue or yellow disk exemplifies generalization along the physical dimension of wavelength (color). Similarly, if saying “ball” by a child is praised when a red ball rolls across the floor, saying “ball” may also occur when a yellow ball is presented or, perhaps, even when an object such as a candle rolls across the floor. The shape of the ball ...

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