stimulus

A stimulus causes an action or response, like the ringing of your alarm clock if you didn't sleep through it.

Stimulus is a word often used in biology — something that causes a reaction in an organ or cell, for example. In financial and economic contexts, a stimulus may be an incentive: the money you spend on your membership is a stimulus for hitting the gym. Though it can be a synonym for stimulant, they are not always used interchangeably. A stimulant is often a chemical or drug that increases activity — think caffeine. For more than one stimulus, use stimuli, not stimuluses.

Definitions of stimulus
1

n any stimulating information or event; acts to arouse action

Synonyms:
input, stimulant, stimulation
Types:
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elicitation, evocation, induction
stimulation that calls up (draws forth) a particular class of behaviors
kick
the sudden stimulation provided by strong drink (or certain drugs)
turn-on
something causing excitement or stimulating interest
negative stimulation, turnoff
something causing antagonism or loss of interest
conditioned stimulus
the stimulus that is the occasion for a conditioned response
reinforcement, reinforcer, reinforcing stimulus
(psychology) a stimulus that strengthens or weakens the behavior that produced it
cue, discriminative stimulus
a stimulus that provides information about what to do
positive stimulus
a stimulus with desirable consequences
negative stimulus
a stimulus with undesirable consequences
positive reinforcer, positive reinforcing stimulus
a reinforcing stimulus that serves to increase the likelihood of the response that produces it
negative reinforcer, negative reinforcing stimulus
a reinforcing stimulus whose removal serves to decrease the likelihood of the response that produced it
bonus, fillip
anything that tends to arouse
delight, joy, pleasure
something or someone that provides a source of happiness
annoyance, bother, botheration, infliction, pain, pain in the ass, pain in the neck
something or someone that causes trouble; a source of unhappiness
aversive stimulus
any negative stimulus to which an organism will learn to make a response that avoids it
concern, headache, vexation, worry
something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness
grief, sorrow
something that causes great unhappiness
Type of:
information
knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction

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