One concept that I have learned this year in Psychology that I will remember five years down the road will probably have to do with Pavlov's research and discoveries regarding classical conditioning. When I first learned about Pavlov's experiments with German shepherds it made me think of my own dog and how we got her to learn tricks. It's funny, sometimes when I make her do tricks I even think of Pavlonian conditioning and how she was able to learn how to do the trick because of the conditioning process.
The thing about classical conditioning that I think is unique is that it doesn't only apply to dogs. It applies to humans too, and in more ways than I thought. As a refresher, classical conditioning is based on acquisition-the learning phase that a conditioned response is established, and extinction-the gradual reduction and elimination of the conditioned response.
Phobias and addiction to drugs are hugely based on classical conditioning. A person can overcome their fear when they are repeatedly presented with the conditioned stimulus. The conditioned response may be large at first but overtime it will gradually get smaller (extinction). And when dealing with drugs, we saw that when an individual is exposed to the drug and does not take it to receive the effects, eventually their desire and craving to use the drug will diminish.
I've learned a lot about human behavior and how we function in this psychology class, but I think that a lot of our behaviors come back to the idea of classical conditioning. And I don't think I'll be forgetting it anytime soon.