What Are Some Examples of External Stimuli?

Examples of external stimuli include changes in temperature, sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that can affect the body and the mind. External stimuli affect one from the outside – anything that touches upon one of the five senses.

External stimuli can affect a person’s decision-making abilities and choices. For example, when a person is hungry and sees a slice of pizza, internal stimuli from within the body, such as a stomach growl, salivating and hunger pain, indicates the need for food; the external factor, the pizza slice that a person is viewing through sight, serves as the external stimuli.

Other examples of external stimuli include television and commercial ads, a window display at a clothing store, or a recommendation of a product. These examples all invoke one or more of the five senses.

External stimuli can also affect a person’s ability to perform with focused concentration. For example, when playing a sport, factors such as rain or snow can impede an athlete’s physical abilities. Hostile crowds, poor field conditions and unfair calls by officials also serve as external stimuli that can either derail or further motivate an athlete. Negative thoughts and self-talk that affect performance are examples of internal stimuli.