Generalization is connected back to Classical Conditioning, and happens when we have the same Conditioned Response (CR) to similar objects that represent the Conditioned Stimulus (CS).
I will add on to my last blog and the example I gave about the dentist to create an image of Generalization.
After that dentist I paired fear with the sound of dentist instruments. Over time I found that if I saw a dentist on TV I was reminded of the painful procedure. Before I went back to the dentist the next time I was completely terrified of anything that reminded me of the dentist. If I saw one on TV, if I smelled something that smelled like my dentist office, if I heard a drill of any sort. I paired all of those with the fear and uneasiness that I got from that first procedure.
A couple years later I had to go in and get examined for braces. I found myself unable to sleep for the week leading up to that appointment. I was terrified because I knew that they did something to teeth. I had generalized my fear of the dentist to anything that sounded, felt, tasted, looked, smelled, or worked on your teeth.
Before and After
Like I said in my last blog, I knew that I was afraid of the dentist, but I was not aware of why I was as afraid as I was. I did not think that bubble gum (which tastes like the flavour of fluoride I got) made me nauseous. Now that I know I can make myself more conscious of the setting and realize that the bubble gum I am chewing has nothing to do with the dentist.