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Generalization

  • By: Nicole M. Cotnoir & Rachel H. Thompson
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Generalization is the transfer of training effects from one situation to another. There are three types of student performance that may be considered evidence of generalization. The first, stimulus generalization, occurs when skills taught in one situation transfer to other situations. For example, a student who is taught by his teacher to say “please” when asking for assistance may begin to say “please” at the family dinner table when requesting another serving of food. In this example, the student uses a new skill (saying please) with different individuals (the family) in a new setting (the home) to make a new type of request (food).

A second form of generalization, response generalization, occurs when a strategy applied to one type of behavior changes a related behavior to ...

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