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What Is an Unconditioned Response?

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Unconditined response

Gasping in pain after you are stung by a bee is an example of an unconditioned response.

Image: Christophe Libert

Definition:

In classical conditioning, the unconditioned response is the unlearned response that occurs naturally in reaction to the unconditioned stimulus. For example, if the smell of food is the unconditioned stimulus, the feeling of hunger in response to the smell of food is the unconditioned response.

Some more examples of unconditioned responses include:

  • Gasping in pain after being stung by a bee.
  • Jerking your hand back after touching a hot plate on the oven.
  • Jumping at the sound of a loud noise.

In each of the above example, the response occurs naturally and automatically.

Related Terms:

More Psychology Definitions: The Psychology Dictionary

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