Stimulus generalization is “The elicitation of a conditioned response by stimulation similar but not identical to the original stimulus.” The experiment that Watson did with Albert is an example of Stimulus generalization. Albert was conditioned to fear a stuffed white rat . Albert then started to associate all white furry things with fear such as a fur coat, a dog, and a rabbit with fear.
Stimulus generalization often occurs when my niece Ella calls every type of fruit a ” Banana”. Ella started to associate all fruit as being bananas because my brother and his wife would often point to a banana and say “Fruit”.
A subject can also learn to discriminate between like stimuli and respond to specific stimuli only. This is known as discrimination. An example of this is when a man is at a party where everyone is talking loudly, and he can hear someone from across the room say his name. This man was able to discriminate his name from all the other words being spoken in the room.