Classical Conditioning In Everyday Life

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Classical Conditioning.gifClassical conditioning is a pretty basic principal in psychology. The best way to explain it is with the example from Ivan Pavlov expirament (shown in image above) using a metronome, meat powder, and dogs. Basically classical conditioning is comprised of taking an unconditioned stimuli (meat powder) and pairing it with whatever learned or conditioned stimuli (metronome) you like to get a whats called a conditioned response, in this case from the dogs. At first the dogs show no reaction to the metronome because it has yet to be conditioned, but they still react to the meat powder because naturally when a dog smells meat they begin to salivate. After presenting meat powder to the dogs with the metronome in the background repeatedly the dogs begin to salivate at the sound of the metronome whether or not the meat powder is present. Similarly, the human brain makes connections between stimuli in every day life, just like the dogs did. Which is why food advertisements are so effective at persuading us to eat. If someone enjoys eating dominoes pizza regularly, their mind will pair the sight of a pizza with the sensation of being hungry so when the person sees an ad for dominoes they become hungry and are more likely to order a pizza. Another one of my favorite examples of classical conditioning comes in a clip from The Office (link: where an employee conditions a coworker to expect an altoid every time a certian noise is played on the computer. Classical conditioning doesn't just happen with food and hunger. It can happen with the most basic stimuli, feelings and emotions. You can be conditioned to fear the smell of laundry soap, be excited by the sight of an apple, or even to become tired at the sound of a bell. People can be conditioned to feel almost anything in response to almost any stimuli and while some of these examples may be obscure, classical conditioning plays a huge part in our everyday lives. - Mason Hurley


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Nice work on getting The Office into our psych class, that clip is pretty funny. Your entry is just like the last one I commented on about MC Escher and top-down processing (I didn't realize I processed some of his paintings that way until I had taken psych 1001). This clip from the office is the same, I've seen it many times but until psych 1001 I wasn't able to fully understand it. That clip is a perfect example of the way the unconscious side of our brain works. I wonder how often during our daily routines our unconscious comes into play the way it did with Dwight.

This blog conveys almost every aspect of classical conditioning, which made it very interesting to read! You really make the reader think about your three examples as they perfectly relate to the topic. I was very surprised when you explained how classical conditioning doesn't just relate to food and hunger, as before I thought these were the two things this conditioning correlated to. After I finished reading this, I thought to myself about how much commercials about food trick the human brain into getting the certain product. When a human sits down to watch tv one is already thinking unconsciously, and after adding a commercial showing a fresh dominos pizza it simply connects to our senses making us want to order pizza! Lastly I want to thank you for the clip added, not only did it make the blog more interesting but it connected to your point as well!

I really liked the Office example. Excellent inclusion. You did a really pleasant job explaining the ins and outs of classical conditioning and the dog/bell experiment. Our two dogs are bell trained for when they want to go outside. We would take their paws and make them ring the bell and give them treats when they rang it. It actually turned into an awful idea because now they CONSTANTLY ring the bell. Classical conditioning gone wrong.

We actually tried that with my dog too but it just ended up pairing the bell with getting a treat. Its pretty funny actually she just ended up ringing the bell constantly too just to try and get treats as much as possible. I guess it would take operant conditioning were you would reward the dog for ringing the bell only after they went outside. I'm not sure how it would work but we definitely did it wrong too!

One of the things that I find the funniest about the classical conditioning is that when it originated the bell was not actually used as a conditioned stimulus. it was a bunch of different things that were used, but not the famous bell. It goes to show you how things can get altered in somebody's memory such as with this.

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This page contains a single entry by hurle131 published on February 19, 2012 10:35 PM.

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