Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

a type of learning in which bonds are formed between varying element of the materials. In different learning theories, these associated elements may take the form of stimulus and response, different mental representations of events, or different elements in neural networks.

ASSOCIATIVE LEARNING: "Associative learning occurs when a response is rewarded - the person learns to associate his or her behavior with a pleasant consequence."

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