Definition: Acquisition is a stage of the conditioning processes and occurs when a response has been established. For example, imagine that you are trying to teach a lab rat to press a lever after hearing a tone. When the rat presses the lever after hearing the tone, a food pellet is dispensed. After repeated pairings, the rat starts to press the lever whenever it hears the tone. At this point, the response has been acquired.
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Image courtesy Piotr Bizior