In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

Learning Phenomena

The four main learning phenomena that occur as a result of conditioning are acquisition, extinction, generalization, and discrimination. Provide a brief definition of each concept. Develop an example of how each of the four learning phenomena would be present in a human. How does generalization differ from discrimination?

Forum post #1

Acquisition occurs at the beginning of a new process. A neutral stimulus, over time, produces a conditioned response. A famous non-human example of this is Pavlov and the dog. Bells, alarms, music, and most sounds can all become conditioned stimuli to animals and to people. Bells, music, whistles, and other sounds are used for conditioning purposes in military training facilities. If you have not been lucky enough to experience this, there are movies that show glimpses of military boot-camp. Often times, at the sound of ?Reveille?, recruits jump out of their bunk beds and rush to make the beds and put on their uniforms before the drill instructor enters the building. ?Reveille? becomes a conditioned stimulus and waking up and immediately making the bed and dressing becomes the conditioned response.

Extinction occurs when a conditioned response weakens until it no longer produces a response. When I think of this concept, I immediately recall the example of the school fire alarm. School fire alarms often sound when there is no real fire. The alarms get tested, or goes off at the slightest indication of smoke, perhaps caused by the school cafeteria. Over time, extinction can occur. Students no longer respond to the fire alarm.

Generalization occurs after there is a conditioned stimulus. With the concept of generalization, a certain stimulus might induce a similar response to another similar stimulus. An iPhone can be used as an example of generalization. The iPhone has a very recognizable ringtone and text-tone. If the iPhone user did not previously change the ringtone, the ringtone will be set to the default ?Opening? ringtone and the ?Note? text-tone. It is also possible to assign different tones to different contacts and/or change the default tone to something entirely different. Imagine a group of people sitting in a waiting room. Suddenly, the ?Opening? ringtone begins to play. Most people in the waiting room pull out their cellphones to see if it is their phone ringing.

Discrimination is the ability to differentiate between two similar stimuli. If a cell phone were to ring, but a few of the individuals did not pick up and look at their phones because the ringing was not the same as their usual tone, they would be practicing discrimination.

Generalization is different from discrimination. Generalization produces the similar response of a conditioned stimulus to an unconditioned stimulus. Discrimination allows for the ability to distinguish between similar conditioned stimuli and unconditioned stimuli.

Forum post #2

When we think of learning we understand visual, auditory and kinetic/tactical. Visual being used to learn through watching or seeing, auditory through listening and kinetic/tactical by doing it ourselves. However, in the world of psychology there ar either forms of learning styles. The first is called acquisition. In acquisition learning, it is quite close to classical conditioning. It is the process of acquire your learning or using positiv ergo negative reinforcements. In this style, a person does not know tha teanring is even taking place. Instead they become conditioned to the process through being stimulated ad a response happening. For example, when I got my dog as a puppy he needed to be potty trained. Every time he went potty in the house I would ignore him or I would tell him he is a bad dog. He would know I was upset. When he went outside I became excited, gave him a treat and praised him. Through all this, he learned that going potty outside meant he would get praise and a reward whereas going inside th house would get him nothing. He was conditioned to use the potty outside although he had no idea that?s what I was teaching him. Next learning is called extinction learning. This is the process of learning something but then forgetting it as you no longer use it. Your knowledge of the concept or thing you have learned would basically diassapear since you no longer use it or keep fresh on it. For example, my husband had taught me to rebuild an engine 5 years ago. I still have some of those concepts that I remember but wouldn?t be able to go out and rebuild a complete motor without having a little refresher first.

The next learning is called generalized. Generalized learning is when you use things you have learning in the past and put it toward a new or similar concept. In my thought process, it is quite similar to the concept of building. For example, we learn multiplication first then use that to learn how to divide. We then use simple division to learn long divison and so on. You cannot do one without first learning what concept came before it. Finally there is the style of discrimination. Discrimination learning is when you change your behavior to affect a different stimuli. An example for this would be that when I am creating cakes, i am learning thrash trial and error so I go and flow with it. I am using my generalized learning by building off of what I already know to create new things whereas when I am working on cars with my husband I become more focused and listen to what he is telling me and showing me. I take it step by step as it is more instructional.

Forum post #3


Learning starts with acquisition because at this stage one has their first established response to stimuli and is then built upon. When looking at the ideology of Classical conditioning it is noted that a neutral and unconditioned stimulus are partnered. After the partnership is formed the behavioral response begins to shape into a conditioned stimulus; thus, conditioned stimuli are proof of acquisition. The example in humans is the introduction of competition for a reward in the classroom.

Example: A student plays a review game like Kahoot and just goes along answering questions like usual. When the teacher introduces a candy reward for scoring in the top three positions the child typically will try harder. After doing this a few times the teacher puts on Kahoot and the top three children that win expect their candy without the teacher ever mentioning it at the beginning of the game.


Extinction occurs when the conditioned response diminishes, meaning that a stimulus and unconditioned stimulus are no longer paired.

Example: If a bell is rung and a student is conditioned to get up and go to the class next door when he hears the bell he has acquired the response. If the stimuli of the bell are removed, then the student will not be inclined to get up and go to the class next door at a particular time as the response was contingent on the sound of the bell.


In the generalization stage a response to a particular stimulus may trigger a response to a similar type of stimuli, one that has a likeness to the conditioned stimuli.

Example: If in a reading class a student is conditioned to read her book until the teacher set down her book she may also respond in halting her reading in history class once she observes the history teacher put down his book. This may not be the history teachers routine; thus, the conditioned response is generalized by the similarity to the reading class.


Discrimination is one?s capability to differentiate between a conditioned stimulus and other stimuli even similar ones.

Example: In the middle school I taught at last year there were two bells after the lunch period. Each bell had a unique tone. The first bell released the cafeteria students to their next class and the second bell released all students other to their next class. After about 6 lunch periods together my students were very aware of which bell was theirs. This is an example of discrimination because they differentiated the tones of the bell to guide their response.

How does generalization differ from discrimination?

Generalization and discrimination differ because they are very opposite in technique. Generalization takes a conditioned response and then takes other similar stimuli and uses it as a trigger for the conditioned response. Discrimination is just the opposite. It is more of a refined response that has been well rehearsed to a specific stimulus. The response is only to the exact stimulus.

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