I'll be completely honest. In 5 years, I can guarantee with nearly 100% certainty that I will have forgotten about B.F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Ivan Pavlov. Chances are pretty good that I'll have forgotten much of the terminology I've learned over the year as well. But I think for sure that one of the things that I'll retain is the knowledge of classical conditioning.
About 3 years ago, my family adopted an Alaskan Husky from the pound. My brother and I grew up with a Lab and when we pictured a dog, we naturally assumed that it would be mellow and easily trained, common characteristics amongst Labs. It quickly became very clear that, while a very sweet dog, she would take some serious training. My Mom, Dad, brother and I took turns trying to train her to sit, come, and lay down. 3 years later, she's come a long way but still has a long way to go, and up until this class, I always assumed that it was her and not us. After the chapter on classical conditioning, however, I'm not so sure. I quickly realized that we weren't consistent with our conditioned stimuli, so naturally, the conditioned response took much longer, and wasn't nearly as consistent as it should be.
Now that I know the basic principles of classical conditioning, I'm looking forward to trying it out on my dog, and I'm noticing it in everyday life. I just watched this show of The Office the other day, wherein Jim demonstrates the merits of classical conditioning on Dwight. Enjoy!!!