A response to one cue may also occur to cues which are physically similar to that cue; in other words, what one learns to do in one situation will occur in other, similar situations. This phenomenon is called stimulus generalization.
Many responses are instrumental responses; that is, they act on and change some aspect of the environment. Other responses are known as cue-producing responses; the cues from these responses serve to bring about other responses. Words are especially important cue-producing responses; someone says a word and another person responds, or one thinks a word and this is a cue for another word. Thinking can be considered as chains of cue-producing responses—that is, as a sequence of associated words; in this way Miller and Dollard sought to describe the higher mental processes such as thinking, reasoning, and planning.
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