Classical Conditioning

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One of the most interesting ways of learning I have read about is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously learned neutral stimulus that head been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. Pavlov was the first to discover this with his studies with dogs. The unconditioned stimulus, which is the stimulus that elicits an automatic response is the meat powder. The unconditioned response is the salivation. As the dogs heard the footsteps of the researchers coming closer, they began to salivate because they thought food was coming. This type of learning is a product of nurture, not nature. One way that I realized I had been classically conditioned was in swimming. I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years, and for the first 8 years I practiced in a 25 yard swimming pool. I was taught to do a flip turn at every wall, which was every 25 yards. When I got promoted to the Nationals team, we practiced in a 50 meter pool. The first few times I swam there, I found myself trying to do a flip turn while I was only about half way through the pool! This is because my body had been conditioned to turn every 25 yards, but now that the pool was 50 meters I had to adjust. There have been some funny examples of classical conditioning in the media such as on the TV show The Office.

I also found a student experiment that is pretty funny too.

I think classical conditioning is so interesting and is definitely something that can be done on anybody.

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This page contains a single entry by shepe022 published on October 9, 2011 10:43 PM.

Understanding Illusions helps us Properly Interpret the Physical Reality around Us was the previous entry in this blog.

Sleeping Pills: Doing More Harm Than Good? is the next entry in this blog.

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