Much, if not most, human behavior is learned. How human beings learn is one of the central and most controversial topics in psychology. Neal E. Miller and John Dollard used principles of learning developed by Clark Hull, who studied how animals learn, and applied them to explain complex human behavior.
According to Miller and Dollard, human behavior occurs in response to cues. A red traffic light, for example, is a cue to stop, whereas a green light is a cue to go. A cue is simply any stimulus that is recognized as different from other stimuli. A cue may bring about a variety of responses, but some responses are more likely to occur than others. The response to a cue most likely to occur is called the dominant response. Responses to a cue are arranged in a response hierarchy, from the dominant response to the response least likely to occur. A person's response hierarchy can change. The hierarchy that a person has originally is called the initial hierarchy. If the initial hierarchy is inborn, it is known as the innate hierarchy. When a hierarchy changes, the result is known as the response hierarchy.
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