Generalisation and Discrimination

Generalization and discrimination for Classical Conditioning

Generalization in classical conditioning is when you respond to something that similar but not exact to the Conditioned stimulus. As a separate example, say you got bit by a small dog like a terrier and are now afraid of all dogs. Big or small they all initiate a fear response from you. You’ve generalized your response to include all types and not just the one.

Discrimination in classical conditioning is when your respond specifically to the conditioned stimulus. Keeping with the previous example, if your fear response is only associated with terriers, then its become a discriminated response and your fine around all other dogs.

My response to bees is a generalized response and not discrimination.

I my case I have generalized my fear response to bees. I do not just react to bees alone but rather I strongly react to the sound more then the sight of bees. I do react to the sight but sound is the trigger to the initial response. So long is its near and makes a buzzing sound? I will instantly get jumpy and nervous. It could be a fly or other insect that makes a buzzing sound and I’ll respond thinking that it’s a bee. I calm down once I notice is not a bee and continue with whatever it was I was doing. Once I see that there is in fact a bee near me though, there is usually no hesitation. I’m back in my house until its gone.


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