Sensitization Definition | Psychology Glossary

In psychology, sensitization is a non-direct non-associative learning process where repeated exposure to a stimulus ends up in an increased reaction to that stimulus. Essentially, the subject becomes more sensitive to the stimulus as time goes on.

As an example, if you take your cat to the vet in the same car where he gets a big nasty shot in the arm, that cat might eventually associate that car with the pain of the shot, and highly resist going into the car. If you go to the bar every Friday night and repeatedly order a vodka cranberry, eventually you’ll get used to the idea of having no taste whatsoever and stop going out at all.