Gradual development of an association between events that are encountered together.
Events that have biological relevance to the organism can elicit reflexive responses (e.g., food can elicit salivation). Through a similar process, organisms may produce responses in order to bring forth or prevent the occurrence of a consequence (e.g., following a command to obtain a food reward). In either situation, a link or association between the two events develops, and responses consistent with this association are observed. These responses have the important function of preparing the organism for an impending biologically relevant event or better suiting the organism to maximize reward and minimize punishment in its environment. The process by which paired events become associated is known as acquisition.
What Relationships Are Acquired?
Learning about environmental events can be broadly classified as occurring through classical conditioning or instrumental conditioning....
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