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generalization

[jen-er-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /ˌdʒɛn ər ə ləˈzeɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the act or process of generalizing.
2.
a result of this process; a general statement, idea, or principle.
3.
Logic.
  1. a proposition asserting something to be true either of all members of a certain class or of an indefinite part of that class.
  2. the process of obtaining such propositions.
4.
Psychology.
  1. Also called stimulus generalization. the act or process of responding to a stimulus similar to but distinct from the conditioned stimulus.
  2. Also called response generalization. the act or process of making a different but similar response to the same stimulus.
  3. Also called mediated generalization. the act or process of responding to a stimulus not physically similar to the conditioned stimulus and not previously encountered in conditioning.
  4. the act or process of perceiving similarity or relation between different stimuli, as between words, colors, sounds, lights, concepts or feelings; the formation of a general notion.
Origin of generalization
1755-1765
1755-65; generalize + -ation
Can be confused
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for generalization
  • From only a well-designed random sample would a generalization to a population or subpopulation be valid.
  • Nonetheless, that's the kind administrators mostly impose so his point is valid despite the unwarranted generalization.
  • Oh, and a generalization to all politicians, in or out of the majority.
  • Biologists have asked why, and the answer is pretty clear-cut, leading to yet another generalization.
  • But the generalization as such is problematic unless other things being equal.
  • The point in that statement is that children are naturally curious, a generalization that stands on remarkably firm ground.
  • It is technically true, but is a gross generalization.
  • Attend national conferences that attract scholars in your area of specialization and generalization.
  • As always, to prove a generalization wrong, all one has to do is cite one exception.
  • So somehow or other the generalization doesn't work for me.
British Dictionary definitions for generalization

generalization

/ˌdʒɛnrəlaɪˈzeɪʃən/
noun
1.
a principle, theory, etc, with general application
2.
the act or an instance of generalizing
3.
(psychol) the evoking of a response learned to one stimulus by a different but similar stimulus See also conditioning
4.
(logic) the derivation of a general statement from a particular one, formally by prefixing a quantifier and replacing a subject term by a bound variable. If the quantifier is universal (universal generalization) the argument is not in general valid; if it is existential (existential generalization) it is valid
5.
(logic) any statement ascribing a property to every member of a class (universal generalization) or to one or more members (existential generalization)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for generalization
n.

1761, "act of generalizing," from generalize + -ation. Meaning "a general inference" is from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generalization in Medicine

generalization gen·er·al·i·za·tion (jěn'ər-ə-lĭ-zā'shən)
n.

  1. The act or an instance of generalizing.

  2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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