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law of exercise

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A law which states that, in learning, the more frequently a stimulus and response are associated with each other, the more likely the particular response will follow the stimulus. The law implies that one learns by doing and one cannot learn a skill, for instance, by watching others. It is necessary to practise the skill, because by doing so the bond between stimulus and response is strengthened. In applying this to motor learning, the more often a given movement is repeated, the more firmly established it becomes. The performance of drills attempts to utilize this law. See also law of effect; Thorndike's stimulus–response theory of learning.

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