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Classical Conditioning Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is an influential process. Two unrelated stimuli when they are repeatedly paired lead to a situation where a response to the second stimulus can be achieved by initiating only the first stimulus. This theory involves learning a new behavior through the process of association. In this theory, we assume that the surrounding shapes behavior and also those mental or internal states of a human or animal like feelings or thoughts are not relevant in behavioral explanations.
Part I
For a classically conditioned learning process in my life, I always study and do my academic activities normally homework on my desk. After a long, hard semester; I ...view middle of the document...

Seeing the desk elicits a bad feeling in me. Either the desk had studying materials or not, still it evoked a negative emotion. The unconditioned response (UR) is the naturally occurring unlearned reaction in response to the unconditioned stimulus. This is the bad feeling developed at the sight of the desk. Panic and stress leading to tension build up on seeing the desk even if I was not using it for reading. Unconditioned response results in the conditioned stimulus (CS). It results from the formerly neutral stimulus which triggers a conditioned response after its pairing with the unconditioned stimulus. Mostly, for learning to take place, the UCS must be associated with the CS.
The desk is the conditioned stimulus. It gives portrays a reading environment which is what I dread most in this case. Even if no studying will be done, its sight makes my mind think about books and all the stress involved in reading them. The conditioned response is the newly acquired response to the formerly neutral stimulus. This happens after the conditional stimulus (CS) has been associated with the unconditional stimulus (UCS) resulting into a new conditional response (CR). Bad feelings and fear result from the sight of the desk. This is due to the premonition of what is going to happen at it, although it may not necessarily occur.
In the end, although the desk is ‘innocent’ on the stress caused on its sight, a mentality has already been built up that a desk means studying and studying means mental pressure. This might not be exactly as what happens during studying but fear and bad feelings arise from nowhere seeing the desk. This in the long run leads to a phobia and dislike of the desk. It is tedious not to respond to the conditioned stimulus as its effect is mental based. Unless one changes the activities leading to the conditioned stimulus, like in this case associating the desk with things that cheer me up like movies, then the original effect of the stimuli remains.
Generalization in Classical Conditioning
Stimulus generalization occurs when a previously not associated stimulus has same properties to the one associated to it previously and produces a response that is same or similar to the formerly paired response. It works in the...

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