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Stimulus generalization or primary generalization is the tendency for stimuli similar to an original stimulus in a learning paradigm to produce a response approximating that learnt under the original condition. A generalization gradient can be drawn up showing that the more similar the stimuli the more similar the responses.
This phenomenon is illustrated by the fact that we tend to develop aversions even to types of food that resemble the foods which cause us illness. For example, if one eats an orange and gets sick, one might also avoid eating tangerines and clementines because they look similar to oranges, and might lead one to think that they are also dangerous.