Habituation

Habituation is a term used in the school of behavioral psychology as the simplest form of learning. Habituation occurs as the decrease in the strength of a response after repeated presentation of a stimulus that elicits a behavioral response, for example getting use to a light’s intensity. Constant exposure leads to a decrease in response arousal and therefore this technique is commonly used in therapeutic settings as a basic process used to extinguish various fears.


There are Five Principles of Habituation:

1. Course of Habituation: When a stimulus is repeated, habituation of a response occurs (decrease in sensitivity as a result of an increase in familiarity).

2. The Effects of Time: If a stimulus is withheld for a period of time, habituation decreases.

3. Relearning Effect: If habituation to a stimulus has occurred in the past but is withheld for a period of time and then re-administered, the stimulus will take less time to re-habituate.

4. Effects of Stimulus Intensity: Organisms can habituate to weak to moderate stimuli but very strong stimuli may not result in habituation.

5. Stimulus Generalization: Transfer of habituation occurs from one stimulus to another.

See Also

Behaviorism

Classical Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov

John B. Watson

Modeling

Operant Conditioning

Psychology


References

Dyce, J. (2008, July 24). Power Point: Principles of Behavior Change. Retrieved from: http://jamiedyce.com/index.html.