Stimulus Generalisation Theory

By John Dudovskiy

Stimulus Generalisation Theory According to The Stimulus Generalisation Theory important knowledge and skills gained as a result of training can be applied to a wide range of situations in the workplace.

In other words, in contrast to The Principle of Identical Elements “stimulus generalisation occurs when the trained behaviour is utilised under conditions that differ from those used in training” (Nadeau et al., 2000, p.255).


For example, advanced level of interpersonal skills gained by an employee as a result of training is going to be applied with adjustments taking into account circumstances associated with a specific workplace situation. The employee is going to adjust own interpersonal skills depending on the type of organisational stakeholder the employee is interacting with. The Stimulus Generalisation Theory of training transfer is best related to workplace situations that are highly dynamic and unpredictable.



Nadeau, S.E., Crosson, B.A. & Gonzalez-Rothi, L. (2000) “Aphasia and language: theory and practice” Guliford Press

Category: HRM