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associative learning n.
A learning principle based on the belief that ideas and experiences reinforce one another and can be mentally linked to enhance the learning process.
in animal behaviour, any learning process in which a new response becomes associated with a particular stimulus. In its broadest sense, the term has been used to describe virtually all learning except simple habituation (q.v.). In a more restricted sense, it has been limited to learning that occurs through classical and instrumental conditioning (see conditioning).