Conditioned Taste Aversions

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Discovered by psychologist Martin Seilgman, conditioned taste aversion shows that classical conditioning can cause us to develop an avoidance to the taste of food. Although this response to food is classically conditioned, it is different than other instances of classical conditioning. Conditioned taste aversions tend to only require one trial to develop, while most classically conditioned reactions requite multiple repeated trials. Conditioned taste aversions also tend to be very specific and show almost no evidence of stimulus generalization. These differences in classical conditioning are actually a good thing. If there were multiple trials, we would be experiencing events such as food poisoning multiple times.
I believe that this research finding is important to know because almost everyone has at some point experience food poisoning, and it is important to know what foods to stay away from. Knowing that it also creates problems for cancer patients going through chemotherapy is also important to realize why they experience nausea and vomiting.
When i was about 7 years old i went to a restaurant named Islands with my family for dinner one night. I clearly remember eating chicken tenders for that meal. A few hours later i was up out of bed with terrible food poisoning. From that day on I would not dare to touch chicken tenders not only from Islands, but from any other restaurant. Over time i have overcome this conditioned taste aversion, but I still have never forgotten it.

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This page contains a single entry by schur073 published on October 24, 2011 12:17 AM.

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